Colombo, Mar 28 (PTI) Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena today reduced the responsibilities of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in the backdrop of the ongoing political turmoil in the country.

The unity government of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the United National Party (UNP) was thrown into a crisis after former president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s new party pulled off a stunning victory in local elections seen as a referendum on the ruling alliance.

Several state institutions including the Central Bank and Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka have changed hands, Colombo Gazette reported today.

The Central Bank and Securities and Exchange Commission, which were under the Prime Minister, have been brought under the Finance Ministry by President Sirisena, the report said.

Wickremesinghe was last month appointed as the Minister of Law and Order in the unity government’s second cabinet reshuffle.

Former strongman Rajapaksa’s nearly a decade-long rule was ended by Sirisena in 2015.

Rajapaksa’s new political party, Sri Lanka People’s Party (SLPP), defeated Sirisena’s SLFP and Wickremesinghe’s UNP, winning 225 councils or two thirds of the 340 councils which went to polls in February.

After registering the landslide win, Rajapaksa was quick to demand a snap general election which is scheduled to be held after August 2020.

Since the defeat, Sirisena has been seeking the removal of Wickremesinghe as the prime minister, attempting to form his own SLFP government, analysts have said.

However, in the absence of required numbers, Sirisena has to accept Wickremesinghe, they said.

Wickremesinghe has said that the result of the local body polls was a wake up call for the government.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.