Monday, May 16, 2022
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sri lanka

A Long Way From Serendip

The President's absence only roils an already tumultuous political scene

A Long Way From Serendip
AP
A Long Way From Serendip
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

President Kumaratunga has reasons to be nervous. She lost her parliamentary majority last week when the seven members of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (slmc) left her People's Alliance government. Relations between slmc leader Rauf Hakeem and Kumaratunga, already strained, worsened a month ago when the slmc opposed some of the proposed legislations of the government; in retaliation, Hakeem's cabinet colleagues accused him of demanding undue advantages for Muslims.

Fearing Hakeem would strike a deal with the opposition United National Party (unp), Kumaratunga decided to back Fariel Ashraff, widow of the slmc's founder, in her tussle with Hakeem. "The President was rocking the cradle and pinching the baby at the same time. The last straw was when she began to engineer the party's division," declared Hakeem after he was sacked from the cabinet on June 19.

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