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Speaker says 'will sacrifice life for democracy'

Sri Lanka's Speaker, Karu Jayasuriya remained defiant despite two days of violence in the parliamentary complex, stating he "would safeguard the democracy even by sacrificing his life". 

He added that "would not be intimidated by any threats or obstacles placed in his way" and urged "people of the country who loved their motherland to maintain peace in the country".

Sri Lanka has been at a state of political turmoil for several weeks following the president's sacking of the prime minister last month and the appointment of the former president, Mahinda Rajapaksa as the new premier.

Parliament was initially prorogued then dissolved before the Supreme Court intervened resulting in parliamentary sittings over the past two days which have been marred with violence.