Sri Lanka former President Mahinda Rajapakse named as PM

Indian national arrested in Lanka president assassination plot sent to mental hospital

Earlier in the day, ousted Sri Lanka PM Ranil Wickremesinghe had sought an emergency parliament session.

Last week, it was reported that Sirisena accused his senior coalition partner the UNP of not taking seriously an alleged conspiracy to assassinate him and Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the former top defence ministry bureaucrat and brother of ex-president Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Hours after Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena sacked Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and replaced him with former leader Mahinda Rajapakse, he has suspended the South Asian country's parliament.

President Sirisena's Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), the main constituent party of the UPFA, and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's UNP formed the unity government on a platform of good governance in August 2015 following the parliamentary elections.

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has been sworn-in as the Prime Minister before President Maithripala Sirisena.

"At the moment, there is a constitutional crisis - two persons each claiming to be the prime minister", said Jehan Perera, executive director of the nonpartisan National Peace Council of Sri Lanka.

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The move came after Wickremesinghe, who says he remains prime minister, urged the speaker to convene the parliament on Sunday to prove he still retained his parliamentary majority.

But questions remain over the legality of the move, as a constitutional amendment passed in 2015 had taken away the president's power to sack the prime minister.

Mr Wickramasinghe helped the president triumph in the 2015 poll, but the pair reportedly clashed in cabinet recently over government plans to lease a port to India.

There was no immediate comment from Wickremesinghe.

Rajapaksa ruled Sri Lanka as president for nine years beginning in 2005, accumulating enormous power and popularity among the country's majority ethnic Sinhalese after overseeing the military's brutal defeat of ethnic Tamil rebels in 2009, ending a 25-year civil war.

"I had appointed you as the prime minister under (article) 42 (1) of the Constitution and as your appointing authority, I write to notice that you have been removed from the post of prime minister", Mr. Sirisena said in the letter. Later, Sirisena aides supported a no-confidence motion against Wickremesinghe, who survived after a majority of legislators voted to support his coalition government.

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