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Colombo shares nervous as new regime battles ousted Rajapaksa’s bid to return to parliament

12 January 2015 - 229   - 0

    Colombo’s nervous share market opened on Monday amidst concern in the Sri Lankan Government that deposed President Mahinda Rajapaksa was trying to make a political comeback, analysts said. Turnover soared to over Rs. 1 billion in early trades (by 11 am) while the main All Share Index fell by 0.13 per cent to 7,595 while the S&P SL20 gained marginally by 0.15 per cent to 4,278. While Maithripala Sirisena, the main opposition candidate, defeated incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the presidential poll on Thursday, the latter was unwilling to respectfully ease out of politics, analysts said. The new Government has accused Rajapaksa, the former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and sections of the military of trying to seize control of the country in a coup even as the last election results were yet to be announced. Initial reports that Rajapaksa had handed over power without a fuss in what was seen as a peaceful transition of power, was subsequently proved wrong. The former president, the Government says, had tried to declare an emergency and take control even if Sirisena had won the election but was prevented from doing so after the Attorney General and the Army commander refused to follow, what they perceived as, illegal orders. Analysts said Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe were in fire-fighting mode as the deposed Rajapaksa attempted to mobilise his MPs and make an attempt to be named prime minister through a parliamentary motion when the legislature meets next week. ENDS -        

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