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Sri Lankas Tamils urge Prez to reconvene parliament, end political crisis

05 November 2018

In order to complete his removal of former ally Ramil Wickremesinghe as prime minister, Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena must convince the legislature to approve his new choice, Mahinda Rajapaksa.

November 3, 2018I had a very successful telephone conversation with UN Secretary General H.E. António Guterres last evening.

Sirisena was under increasing pressure by his political opponents, rights groups and foreign governments including the United States to summon Parliament and end the crisis.

President Maithripala Sirisena fired Ranil Wickremesinghe as prime minister and named Rajapaksa in a surprise move last week that has drawn criticism from political parties and the worldwide community.

Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena on Sunday announced that he would lift the suspension of parliament in 10 days as global pressure mounted on him to open the legislature and resolve a leadership struggle.

Prior to that, the United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) had made a decision to withdraw from the national government with the United National Party (UNP).

The current suspension of parliament by the president is seen as a key to Rajapaksa negotiating for enough defections.

The TNA has still said it will back a motion against Rajapakse that the UNP has submitted to be taken up when parliament does reconvene.

Under Sirisena, Sri Lanka's Parliament passed a constitutional amendment restoring a two-term limit for the presidency and creating independent commissions for police, judiciary and public service.

Adding an extra flair of worldwide drama to everything is that President Sirisena recently alleged that a shadowy assassination plot was being hatched against him, which he confirmed on Sunday was the main reason why he sacked his Prime Minister. The IDU also demands that the Parliament of Sri Lanka be reconvened to allow the democratically elected representatives of the Sri Lankan people to perform their duties. The subsequent appointment of Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa as Prime Minister has led to a stable alliance which includes several lawmakers from the former PM's United National Party.

Wickremesinghe said in an interview with the AP that there is credible evidence that Rajapaksa's party is attempting to buy support in Parliament.

Premajayantha said that parliament needed time to prepare to meet and there was not enough time to meet on November 5.

Sri Lankas Tamils urge Prez to reconvene parliament, end political crisis