August 1, 2021

The President of Sri Lanka summons the Parliament for November 5

The President of Sri Lanka summons the Parliament for November 5

The president of Sri Lanka, Maithripala Sirisena, called for Parliament on November 5, suspended in the middle of a serious institutional crisis on the island after last week was appointed by surprise as the new prime minister, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

"The president has decided to reconvene Parliament on November 5," he announced today at a meeting with university representatives at his office in Colombo Rajapaksa, which replaced Ranil Wickremasinghe after the Alliance for Freedom of the United People (UPFA) of Sirisena withdraw from the ruling coalition.

Sirisena, who in the 2015 elections led a coalition of parties to evict Rajapaksa from power, had suspended parliament on Saturday until November 16.

The decision to advance the call comes after yesterday the Sri Lankan president met with the president of Parliament, Karu Jayasuriya, who undertook to facilitate the work of Rajapaksa as the new prime minister.

"He has responded that he will act as necessary since his intention is to guarantee that the process flows without any conflict and maintaining the honor of all involved," a source in Jayasuriya's office, who requested anonymity, told Efe.

The President of the House had asked Sirisena to summon Parliament as soon as possible.

Wickremesinghe, leader of the National Unity Party (UNP), said that he still has a majority in Parliament and also called Sirisena to call the Legislative to decide who is the island nation's prime minister.

Thousands of supporters of Wickremesinghe or citizens opposed to a dismissal that qualified as unconstitutional took to the streets on Tuesday to protest the decision of Sirisena.

The Sri Lankan president came to power three years ago with the aim of fighting corruption and unseating Rajapaksa, who was head of state between 2005 and 2015, and with whom he collaborated closely in the past.

Since the elections, the relationship between Sirisena and Wickremesinghe has been getting worse for the past three years to the point that Rajapaksa called the president to break the government in early October.

Many international non-governmental organizations accuse Rajapaksa of the military campaign to end the war with the Tamil Tigers and ended with 40,000 civilians killed in its final stretch, according to the UN.


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