Sri Lanka rivals woo defectors in bid to end impasse

Ranil Wickremesinghe has refused to accept his dismissal

Ranil Wickremesinghe has refused to accept his dismissal

President Maithripala Sirisena has conveyed to the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres that the appointment of Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Prime Minister was in keeping with the Constitution, the supreme law of the country, Government spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella told the Sunday Observer.

Negotiated during the tenure of Rajapaksa as President, the repayments for the port are said to have pushed Sri Lanka into a debt-trap.

Sirisena had on Friday promised the parliamentary speaker that he would recall the assembly on Wednesday.

Wickremesinghe says his dismissal was illegal as he commands a greater majority in parliament than Mahinda Rajapakse, the former strongman president controversially installed in his place.

In a telephone conversation with Sirisena on Thursday, Guterres expressed concern over the political crisis in the island country following Sirisena's firing of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and the suspension of Parliament.

Sri Lanka's Parliament Speaker, Karu Jayasuriya, on Sunday informed President Maithripala Sirisena that his decision to suspend parliament till November 16 will have "serious and undesirable consequences" for the island country.




Sirisena sacked Wickremesinghe just hours after his United People's Freedom Alliance quit the country's national coalition government.

Meanwhile, thousands of supporters continue to occupy Wickremesinghe's official residence saying they would resist any move by Sirisena to evict their prime minister.

President Sirisena is the leader of the UPFA.

During Rajapaksa's two terms as president, his government was credited with defeating the rebel Tamil Tigers and ending a 25-year civil conflict that pitted Sri Lanka's ethnic Sinhalese majority against its Tamil minority.

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. He argues that he can not legally be removed until he loses the support of Parliament.

In remarks broadcast on state television, Rajapaksa told a meeting at his office that Sirisena made a decision to summon Parliament on November 5.

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