Sri Lanka parliament strengthens presidential powers
Sri Lankan lawmakers approved amendments to the constitution that strengthened the powers of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and took away parliament's role in making key appointments such as judges and the police chief.
The new amendments were passed by parliament late on Thursday with a two-thirds majority after a raucous two-day debate.
Rajapaksa, a former defence chief who oversaw the military defeat of Tamil separatists a decade ago, swept to power last November and has since consolidated control.
In August, his party and its allies overwhelmingly won a parliamentary election on an election plank that included doing away with a previous constitutional amendment in 2015 that had put more power in the legislature's hands.
The government has argued that strengthening the president's powers was required for better governance.