Lawmakers linked to disputed Sri Lanka PM boycott parliament

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Lawmakers who support disputed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa are boycotting Parliament for a second day, accusing the speaker of bias.

Sri Lanka has been in a political crisis since Oct. 26, when the president abruptly fired Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and appointed Rajapaksa. Both claim to be the legitimate officeholder, with Wickremesinghe saying he has majority support in Parliament and his firing was invalid.

Last week, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya announced Sri Lanka had no prime minister or government after Parliament passed no-confidence motions against Rajapaksa. Rajapaksa and the president have refused to accept the results of the motions, saying proper procedures were not followed.

When Parliament was convened on Tuesday, Rajapaksa loyalists boycotted the Parliament meeting and urged Jayasuriya to be impartial and recognize Rajapaksa government.