Rauff Hakeem removed from cabinet
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 20 June 2001, 03:05 GMT]
Mr. Rauff Hakeem, senior minister and the leader of the main coalition partner of Sri Lanka's ruling People's Alliance government, the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress was removed from the cabinet, state media announced Wednesday morning. He was stripped of his cabinet portfolio on the directions of the President, Sri Lankan government sources said. Meanwhile the Speaker of the Sri Lankan Parliament ruled Wednesday that the Supreme court has no right to overule the national legislature on the question of impeaching the Chief Justice.
Hakeem's removal comes amidst speculation that he would support the opposition UNP's no confidence motion against the government.
Reports said that Mr. Hakeem had had a round of talks with the UNP leader yesterday about extending support to the motion. Political sources in Colombo said that the SLMC leader might be backed in the move by at least four MPs of the SLMC.