ibusinesslines.com November 14, 2018

Allow Sri Lanka parliament to vote

05 November 2018, 10:28 | Erica Roy

Sri Lanka's Ranil Wickremesinghe is cornered by the Tiger killer, Mahinda Rajapaksa

UN Secretary General asks Sri Lanka's President to allow Parliament vote ASAP

President Maithripala Sirisena fired Ranil Wickremesinghe as prime minister and named Rajapaksa in a surprise move last week that has drawn criticism from political parties and the global community.

Newly appointed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse, who was sworn in last Friday after the president sacked Wickremesinghe, told journalists on Thursday that President Sirisena had informed him that the parliament would convene on November 5 in order to settle the ongoing political crisis.

Tamil support is decisive for Wickremesinghe - who has remained bunkered in the official prime minister's residence since his sacking, seeking to bolster his numbers in the assembly.

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) could tip the balance should parliament be recalled this week to decide between two rivals claiming the lawful right to head Sri Lanka's government. Wickremesinghe was sacked by President Sirisena on October 26.

The Sri Lankan political crisis is therefore much more geopolitically pertinent than many might think.

He said that the President met the Colombo based diplomats earlier, to apprise them of the unfolding political situation in the country.

Guterres told Sirisena he was following the Sri Lanka crisis "with concern", and "urged the president to revert to parliamentary procedures and allow the parliament to vote as soon as possible", a United Nations statement said.

Namal Rajapaksa, Mahinda Rajapaksa's son had said such fears are unfounded.

The European Union is anxious the return of Mahinda Rajapaksa, as prime minister, could derail halting progress made towards national reconciliation following a war with ethnic minority Tamil separatists that killed tens of thousands, many during the final stages under his watch as president. Sirisena has formed a new cabinet since then with several ministers, state and deputy ministers already sworn in. He is credited with ending a 25-year civil war.

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa's legislator son Namal Sunday indicated that the long-held demand of the Tamil minority community to release all Tamil prisoners may be fulfilled soon, a move aimed at persuading the Tamil legislators to support Rajapaksa.

Sri Lanka regained the GSP plus preferential treatment in 2017.

The announcement was made by Parliament spokesman Karu Jayasuriya when he addressed a special meeting of party leaders.

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