Sri Lankan court bars prime minister Rajapaksa to hold office

Island nation Sri Lanka is undergoing severe political crisis and on Monday the Court of Appeal barred prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa from holding office temporarily. On December 12 he and his cabinet will appear again at court and reason out why he should hold office even after the Parliament voted not in favor of his government twice last month.

Rajapaksa said the ruling cannot be accepted by him and his cabinet and they would approach Supreme Court on Tuesday.

The political crisis started in October when President Maithripala Sirisena replaced prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe with Rajapaksa in an unconstitutional way and both had claimed to be legitimate holder of the office.

Rajapaksa is a successful leader who served the country for ten years as president and prime minister. He is credited for bringing to end decades-long civil war in 2009. However, being accused for having excessive ties with China and human rights abuses he lost presidency in 2015 to former political ally Sirisena.

Sirisena and Wickremesinghe earlier were political foes but later emerged as united to defeat Rajapaksa. Last year tensions once again were seen between the two leaders and Sirisena accused Wickremesinghe of being corrupt.

Sri Lanka will go on polls for president office in 2019.

Paul Linus