(Changes day of the week in paragraph 1 to Monday from Tuesday)
COLOMBO, Dec 3 (Reuters) - A Sri Lankan court on Monday issued an order preventing Mahinda Rajapaksa from as acting as prime minister and holding cabinet meetings, the latest twist to a political drama gripping the South Asian country.
The Appeal Court began a hearing on a petition on Friday signed by 122 legislators that challenged Rajapaksa’s authority to hold office after he lost two no-confidence votes last month.
“An interim order is granted against the first respondent functioning as the prime minister...also issuing interim order against 30 other respondents functioning in their offices,” judge Preethipadhman Surasena said.
Rajapaksa and his cabinet ministers have been asked to appear in court on Dec. 12, the judge added. (Reporting by John Geddie and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani and Nick Macfie)