Canada asks Sri Lankan President to immediately reconvene Parliament

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena

CANADA is calling on Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena to immediately reconvene Parliament and rescind the decision to prorogue.
Global Affairs Canada said in a statement on Monday: “The people of Sri Lanka deserve transparency and accountability. The Parliament of Sri Lanka—whose representatives have been duly elected by the people of Sri Lanka—must be afforded their constitutional responsibility to determine Sri Lanka’s prime minister.”

It said: “Canada remains deeply concerned by the political situation in Sri Lanka. We reiterate our call for all parties to refrain from violence and respect due process and the rule of law.”

It added: “We also call upon the government to ensure the safety and security of journalists, activists and human rights defenders, who play a vital role in defending democracy.”


IANS reports:

Mahinda Rajapaksa
Photos: IANS and Xinhua

Former Sri Lankan strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa assumed duties as the country’s new Prime Minister on Monday following the ouster of his predecessor Ranil Wickremesinghe by President Maithripala Sirisena last week.

Rajapaksa assumed charge at the Prime Minister’s Office in the morning, the Daily Mirror reported. A faction of the new Cabinet was expected to take oaths before the President later in the day.

A political crisis erupted in the island country after Sirisena sacked Wickremesinghe on Friday and replaced him with former President Rajapaksa.

Ranil Wickremesinghe

The President, in a letter sent to Wickremesinghe, had said he had been removed after the Sirisena-led United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) quit the national coalition government.

The coalition government consisted of the UPFA and the United National Party (UNP) led by Wickremesinghe.

Sirisena on Saturday suspended Parliament till November 16.

Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed concern over the deepening crisis and called for restraint from all parties in the island country.

His remarks followed Sunday’s shooting by a bodyguard of a former minister at a crowd in which one person was killed and two were injured.