International News

Sri Lanka president suspends parliament

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Thursday suspended parliament until next month in a shock move amid a deepening power struggle between him and his unity government’s prime minister.
A government decree quoted the president as stating that he had halted parliament’s meetings “with effect from midnight” Thursday under article 70 of the constitution.
The move, scheduled to last until May 8, came hours after at least 16 Sirisena loyalists, including six cabinet ministers, said they would leave the troubled coalition.
Relations between the rival groups in the unity government have soured after both suffered losses in February’s local council elections.
In recent weeks, Sirisena has reduced the powers of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, removing from his control the central bank, the policy-making National Operations Room and several other institutions.
Parliament had been expected to meet again next Thursday.
Presidential officials declined to comment on the reason for the suspension.