• Saturday, May 28, 2022
  • Last Update : 04:24 pm

Sri Lanka’s president summons parliament amid political crisis

  • Published at 06:56 pm November 5th, 2018
Former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapakse, left, is sworn is as prime minister by President Maithripala Sirisena
Former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapakse, left, is sworn is as prime minister by President Maithripala Sirisena AFP

It was not clear if and when the 225-member parliament would vote on the UNP's motion that Wickremesinghe's dismissal was illegal

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. Sirisena abruptly fired prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on October 26 and appointed former president Rajapaksa to lead the ruling coalition instead, raising fears at home and abroad that this could derail Sri Lanka's halting national reconciliation process.

Wickremesinghe says his dismissal is unconstitutional. His United National Party submitted a motion to that effect to parliament but Sirisena suspended its session until November 16, citing a need for Rajapaksa to make arrangements for the new government prevented the vote.

Sirisena's decree for the house to reconvene on November 14 was published in the official gazette on Sunday.

It was not clear if and when the 225-member parliament would vote on the UNP's motion that Wickremesinghe's dismissal was illegal.

Rajapaksa led Sri Lanka to a military defeat of Tamil separatist guerrillas in 2009 but has since faced widespread allegations of human rights abuse and targeting of Tamil civilians.

Wickremesinghe told Reuters earlier on Sunday that the United States and Japan had frozen more than a billion dollars of development aid after his abrupt dismissal raised doubts about the future of democracy in the island.

This follows a warning from the EU that it could withdraw duty-free concessions for Sri Lankan exports if it didn't stick to commitments on national reconciliation.

Sirisena's summons comes after Wickremesinghe's UNP said on Friday that 118 lawmakers had met the speaker to demand parliament be allowed to convene.

Before Wickremesinghe's dismissal, the UNP held 107 seats. Of those, eight have defected to support Rajapaksa. One out of 16 Tamil MPs also joined Rajapaksa.

Among the causes for the animosity between Wickremesinghe and Sirisena is Wickremesinghe's refusal to back the president's bid to stand in the next election in late 2019. Sirisena has also accused Wickremesinghe's government of not taking seriously an alleged assassination plot against him.

50
Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail