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Sri Lanka: Brawl erupts in Sri Lankan parliament over PM dispute

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Published on 26 Jun 2020 / In News & Politics

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The Sri Lankan parliament descended into chaos in Colombo on Thursday, as dozens of MPs exchanged blows over the disputed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Footage shows MPs shouting at each other, and exchanging punches and kicks. One lawmaker was reportedly hospitalised and another accused of brandishing a knife during the brawl.

According to reports, more than 50 lawmakers were involved in the fight.

On Wednesday, the country's lawmakers passed a no-confidence vote against newly appointed Prime Minister Rajapaksa, removing the official and his cabinet from their posts. However, the supporters of Rajapaksa refused to recognise the legitimacy of the vote.

The political crisis in Sri Lanka started in late October when its president, Maithripala Sirisena, suddenly fired Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and replaced him with Rajapaksa, himself a former President who served from 2005 to 2015.

Sirisena then suspended parliament and ordered new elections be held to solve political deadlock, but the Supreme Court overruled his decree in order to hear challenges which claim the move is unconstitutional.

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