"Don't Act Like Hitler", Sri Lanka's Toppled PM Tells President

Sri Lanka Parliament,President Maithripala Sirisena,Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe

Sri Lankan court bars Rajapaksa from acting as Prime Minister

Failing to prove his majority twice, controversially appointed Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa on Sunday demanded holding snap parliamentary polls to end the ongoing political crisis in the country.

Rajapakse's lawyers on Tuesday filed an appeal with the Court of Appeal, but it was not immediately taken up for hearing.

A writ petition was filed by UNP leader Ranil Wickremasinghe and 121 other Parliamentarians seeking an order in the nature of Quo Warranto declaring that Mahinda Rajapaksa is not entitled to hold the office of PM.

"There is a possibility of withdrawing the gazette", said a source in regular discussion with Sirisena, referring to the official announcement by which the president dissolved parliament.

The court of appeal said "irreparable damage" could be done to Sri Lanka if Rajapakse, whose controversial appointment as prime minister a month ago sparked a political crisis, was allowed to remain as head of government.

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In a statement typed on his personal letter paper, Rajapaksa said: "We are not in agreement with the interim stay order issued by the Appeal Court suspending the functioning of the Cabinet of Ministers.We will be presenting an appeal to the Supreme Court tomorrow morning against this stay order". Wickremesinghe says his dismissal is invalid because he still holds a majority in the 225-member Parliament. The Tamil National Alliance which hold 14 seats have said they will not support an impeachment.

The Supreme Court this week is also expected to rule on whether Sirisena's decision to dissolve parliament in November - a move already suspended by the court - was constitutional.

The decision puts a further brake on Mr Rajapaksa's disputed Government after Parliament voted last week to halt payment of ministers' salaries and travel expenses.

However, Mr. Wickremesinghe's UNP claims that Mr. Sirisena will be left with no choice as he would be the man who will command the confidence in the House.

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