Pressure mounts on Sri Lankan president as crisis turns violent
Pressure mounted on Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena to reconvene parliament Monday after his shock dismissal of the prime minister and suspension of the assembly triggered a power struggle and clashes that claimed one life.
The US State Department on Sunday urged Sirisena to “immediately reconvene parliament” to allow legislators to quell the constitutional crisis sparked by his sacking on Friday of prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
Sirisena later installed Mahinda Rajapakse, a controversial former strongman with close ties to China, as the new prime minister, unleashing political chaos in the Indian Ocean nation.
Wickremesinghe and his party are expected to ask the courts to have Sirisena’s action declared illegal, while neighbour and regional power India is pressuring Sirisena to restore parliament, diplomatic sources told AFP.
Wickremesinghe has refused to vacate the prime minister’s official residence, barricading himself inside as over 1,000 supporters, including chanting Buddhist monks, rallied outside.