Published: Thu, November 08, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

President decides to call parliament on the 14th

President decides to call parliament on the 14th

Sri Lanka has been gripped by political turmoil since President Maithripala Sirisena sacked his former ally, prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, on October 26 and appointed Rajapakse in his place.

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.

In a setback to Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, a deputy minister of his United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) government resigned Tuesday and backed ousted prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in the ongoing political crisis.

Tens of thousands attended a rally in support of Wickremesinghe last week, who says his sacking was illegal and wants parliament reconvened to prove his still commands majority support.

"I have to agree with the majority of parliament who believe that the president's actions are undemocratic, unconstitutional and against all norms of parliamentary procedure", added Jayasuriya, who is originally from Wickremesinghe's United National Party but holds a neutral position in parliament.

The reconvention of parliament by the president seems to suggest that Rajapaksa has the votes needed to be confirmed in the coming days.

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The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) had run a military campaign for a separate Tamil homeland in the northern and eastern provinces of the island nation for almost 30 years before its collapse in 2009 after the Sri Lankan Army killed its supreme leader Velupillai Prabhakaran. "Until the new group shows the majority, I will have to accept the status quo prior to the changes".

He said he fired the prime minister because Wickremesinghe was trying to implement "a new, extreme liberal political concept by giving more priority for foreign policies and neglecting the local people's sentiment".

It is stated in the special gazette notification that parliament is called on the 14th according to the powers vested on the president by sub-ordinance 3.1 of the 70th ordinance of the constitution. "The public must protest the way the MPs are being brought for money", Abeywardena said. Rajapaksa needs 113 to prove his majority in the 225-member House.

Thousands of supporters of Rajapaksa headed for the capital on Monday to rally in support of his nomination as the prime minister. Sirisena has also accused Wickremesinghe's government of not taking seriously an alleged assassination plot against him.

The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) party, which has seven lawmakers, said its members had also rejected offers to join the Sirisena-Rajapakse camp.

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