14:58 GMT29 January 2020
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    Sri Lanka's parliament descended into madness on Thursday, with punches and projectiles being thrown among legislators as a result of brewing political turmoil over appointing the country's next prime minister.

    The brawl came one day after Speaker of Parliament Karu Jayasuriya declared on Wednesday that no government had been established, and that no prime minister would be named after members of parliament passed a no-confidence vote against the newly appointed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, according to the Independent.

    Neither Rajapaksa nor his rival, Ranil Wickremesinghe, who was removed from his prime minister post by Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena in October, acquired enough votes to take the win.

    Video footage shared on social media shows more than 50 parliament members congregating next to the speaker's chair, initially engaging in a shouting match before things escalate into a round of fisticuffs. Trash cans and even water bottles were reportedly tossed at Jayasuriya.

    ​According to Bloomberg, the instigators were supporters of Rajapaksa, and members of Wickremesinghe's Party, Sri Lanka's United National Party, were the folks trying to protect Jayasuriya from the ruckus.

    The brawl continued for roughly 30 minutes before Jayasuriya was able to adjourn the parliament session. Dilum Amunugama, a member of Sri Lanka's Freedom Party and an ally of Rajapaksa, was taken to the hospital after he injured his hand while trying to remove a microphone from the speaker's table, the Independent reported.

    ​In addition to Rajapaksa calling for fresh elections, Sirisena, in a letter to Jayasuriya, indicated that the speaker disregarded the nation's constitution, parliamentary procedures and traditions in declaring the vocal no-confidence vote set in stone, Al Jazeera reported.

    "The crisis must be ended as soon as possible, because the uncertainty is going to drive investment out of the country and leave government services in a state of paralysis," Jehan Perera, executive director of the National Peace Council of Sri Lanka, told Bloomberg.

    "If the parties are not able to work out an accommodation, then it needs to go back to court."

    The latest development comes after the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka on Tuesday overturned a decree by Sirisena to dissolve the parliament in an effort to break the deadlock. The courts ultimately determined that the move was unconstitutional.


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    brawl, Karu Jayasuriya, Ranil Wickremesinghe, Mahinda Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka
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