16 November 2018   Leave a comment

Supporters of disputed Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa tried to block a second vote of no confidence in the Sri Lankan Parliament.  They threw furniture, chili paste, and books in order to prevent the Speaker of the House, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, from taking his chair to propose the motion of no confidence.  The first vote of no confidence was passed by a voice vote which Rajapaksa’s supporters said was illegitimate.  But the roll call vote was not possible due to the actions of Rajapaksa’s supporters.  Parliamentary brawls are actually not that unusual.  Quartz has a compendium of videos of brawls all around the world.   The Financial Times has an article suggesting that the turmoil in Sri Lanka illustrates contention over China’s role in the island’s politics.

The Brawl in the Sri Lankan Parliament


The Washington Post has published an article which asserts–with good evidence–that the US CIA has concluded that “Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul last month.”  The conclusion is not really a surprise given the information that Turkey has made available, despite the assertions by Saudi Arabia that the Crown Prince was unaware of the operation to kill Khashoggi.  Indeed, Saudi Arabia has indicted 11 members of the team that went to Istanbul on the day that Khashoggi was murdered but exonerated the Crown Prince.  The surprise in the article is that the CIA is flatly contradicting the narrative that the President has maintained that the Crown Prince was not involved.  The CIA finding puts the President in a very awkward situation who had earlier indicated that he did not think the Crown Prince ordered the killing.  According to The Daily Beast in October:

“President Donald Trump said Friday night he finds the Saudi Arabian government’s claim that journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed in a “fist fight” credible. When asked by reporters if he found Saudi claim to be believable, Trump told reporters, ‘I do. I do.’ When further asked if Saudi leaders may have “lied” about what really happened to Khashoggi, a U.S. resident, Trump said, ‘No I don’t think so at all.’ Trump said he wants to speak to the man accused of orchestrating Khashoggi’s alleged murder, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, before deciding on punishment. However, Trump said he would “rather find another solution” than canceling U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia because it ‘would mean a lot of jobs.’”

President Trump has invested a great deal in Saudi Arabia, making it the linchpin of his presumed Middle East peace program.  But supporting the Crown Prince after the CIA finding is politically untenable, both for the President and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner. 




Posted November 16, 2018 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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