Sri Lanka Decides to Summon Parliament amid Political Crisis

Pauline Gross
November 5, 2018

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has ordered the suspended parliament to reconvene on November 14, clearing the way for a vote on his decision to sack the elected prime minister and replace him with wartime nationalist Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Rajapakse has eaten into Wickremesinghe's majority amid warnings from pro-democracy and anti-corruption groups about the tactics being used.

Sirisena said, "this information (received by investigators) contains a number of details hitherto hidden to the people".

"We strongly oppose and condemn Tamil National Alliance Member of Parliament being a part of this conspiracy", TNA said.

While Mr Wickremesinghe is staying on in the premier's residence called Temple Trees, Mr Rajapaksa has taken over the offices of the Prime Minister following his swearing in.

In addition, Wickremesinghe refused to accept his dismissal, claiming to be the country's legitimate prime minister.

Representatives of the new government under former strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa have offered lawmakers positions and money in exchange for their support, Wickremesinghe claimed.

Huge amounts are reportedly being offered to defectors.

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On the other hand, China, which invested billions of dollars during Rajapaksa's presidency, has called for non-interference and said Sri Lanka could tackle its own problems.

In a statement, the Tamil National Alliance said Rajapaksa's appointment was a violation of the Constitution's 19th amendment.

Besides domestic politics, strategic experts view the political developments in Sri Lanka as the playing out of geostrategic rivalry between India and China.

Sri Lanka s speaker has summoned parliament to meet next week in defiance of the president who has suspended the assembly until November 16.

The announcement was made by Parliament spokesman Karu Jayasuriya when he addressed a special meeting of party leaders.

"The Secretary-General urged the President to revert to parliamentary procedures and allow Parliament to vote as soon as possible".

Amid the ongoing political tension, Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in Sri Lanka Hanaa Singer has met Sirisena and Parliament Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, delivering Guterres' message for the need to respect democratic values and constitutional provisions.

Other reports by GizPress

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