Sri Lanka president summons Parliament amid political crisis

Sri Lanka,Ranil Wickremesinghe,Maithripala Sirisena

Sri Lanka,Ranil Wickremesinghe,Maithripala Sirisena

Sirisena sacked Wickremesinghe just hours after his United People's Freedom Alliance quit the country's national coalition government. "The informant has made a statement regarding a Cabinet minister involved in the conspiracy to assassinate me".

At least three more deputies from the TNA, which has 16 in the 225-member parliament, are expected to go over to the Rajapakse.

Sirisena, after replacing Wickremesinghe with Rajapaksa, had suspended Parliament after the sacked premier sought an emergency session to prove his majority.

However, there has been no statement from President Sirisena or Prime Minister Rajapakse since then.

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

Most of the 22 remaining MPs, including the TNA, are likely to oppose Rajapaksa, experts said. UN Chief "offered assistance in facilitating a dialogue with all the parties to resolve the situation", his office added.

"We appeal to you not to allow parliament to be put up for sale".

Besides domestic politics, strategic experts view the political developments in Sri Lanka as the playing out of geostrategic rivalry between India and China. "We demand a stop to this culture of buying and selling votes", the group said.

The president's move has plunged the country into a constitutional crisis with Wickremesinghe claiming he is still the prime minister.

Parliament speaker Karu Jayasuriya has called a meeting for next Wednesday.

The President had prorogued the parliament for 11 days, from October 27 to November 16, by issuing an Extraordinary Gazette Notification published by the Presidential Secretariat. He argued that he can not be legally removed from office until he loses the support from Parliament, and asked for a vote as evidence to prove he had majority support. Sirisena has been sending conflicting signals about his willingness to end the parliamentary suspension.

The Commonwealth Secretary General Patricia Scotland called on the political leadership and national instituitions to uphold the constitution.

A Sri Lankan legislator on Friday said he had been offered $2.8 million and a ministerial post by a telephone caller from the opposite camp to switch his support to new Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa in a week-old political crisis.

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