[QODLink]
Archive
Sri Lankan ministers sacked
Sri Lanka's President Chandrika Kumaratunga has sacked 39 junior ministers, plunging the island-country deeper into political uncertainty.
Last Modified: 12 Feb 2004 00:05 GMT
President Kumaratunga is out to clip Premier Wickremesinghe
Sri Lanka's President Chandrika Kumaratunga has sacked 39 junior ministers, plunging the island-country deeper into political uncertainty.

Four days after she had dissolved the parliament and ordered snap elections, Kumaratunga sent letters informing 39 non-cabinet rank ministers of their formal removal.

A senior minister in Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's cabinet responded immediately to Kumaratunga's move by threatening to quit.

Milinda Moragoda, who is also a negotiator in talks with the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), asked the prime minister to take "appropriate action" to relieve him of his cabinet post. But under Sri Lanka's cabinet, the prime minister has no power to remove ministers.

Rebel warning

The LTTE had warned that the political crisis and the snap polls Kumaratunga had called for on 2 April were a "grave setback" for the Norwegian-led peace process as well as the ceasefire arranged by Oslo.

Political turmoil has dogged the Indian Ocean country in recent months with bitter rivals Kumaratunga and Wickremesinghe engaged in a power tussle.

It has jeopardised peace parleys between Colombo and the LTTE and fuelled fears that the country could return to civil war.

Truce panel

Kumaratunga meanwhile met with the head of the truce monitoring panel Trond Furuhovde on Wednesday and asked for a panel to be established to review the ceasefire agreed by the prime minister and the rebels in February 2002.

Kumaratunga, who had earlier described the ceasefire agreement signed as an "invalid document" told Furuhovde she would uphold the truce.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.