Marching Orders

Sri Lankan Police forming a human chain in parliament to protect the Speaker and enable a vote.

Sri Lanka President Chandrika Kumaratunga has removed 39 non-cabinet rank junior ministers ahead of parliamentary elections on April 2, a spokesman for her office said Wednesday.rn
Kumaratunga was sending letters to the ministers informing them of their formal removal following the dissolution of parliament at the weekend which turned the government into a caretaker body, a spokesman said.rn

rnA senior member of Kumaratungas party, Maithripala Sirisena, said the president was also contemplating reducing the number of ministers in the caretaker cabinet, but there was no announcement on the sacking of any cabinet ministers.rn

rnKumaratunga dissolved parliament on Saturday nearly four years before its six-year term was up.rn

rnThe political crisis erupted following her power struggle with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe who is from a rival party. (Source: AFP)rn