Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena dissolves Parliament amid political turmoil

Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena has faced accusations of homophobia

Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association's executive committee said in a statement, "The CPA asserts the importance of upholding the rule of law as well as the essential role of the parliament of Sri Lanka as defined in and protected by the Constitution of Sri Lanka".

President Maithripala Sirisena has decided that there will be no snap elections or a national referendum to end the current political and constitutional crisis in Sri Lanka, according to his close aide.

Maithripala Sirisena said in a proclamation that a new parliament will be convened on January 17 after conducting the nation-wide vote on January 5.

"We will definitely challenge this in the Supreme Court, that the president is violating the constitution", said Harsha De Silva, who was state minister of economic affairs under Wickremesinghe's government.

Before signing the order sacking the parliament with effect from Friday midnight, Sirisena also inducted more ministers into his cabinet.

"He has robbed the people of their rights and the democracy that we have enjoyed", the UNP said.

However, the UNP - whose numbers declined from 106 to 98 amid defections - gained an edge when the Tamil National Alliance, a coalition of 15 legislators representing the country's ethnic Tamil minority, said it would back a motion to oust newly appointed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa. At least eight have switched sides, but at least 120 deputies in the 225-seat parliament remain loyal to Wickramasinghe. Wickremasinghe now hopes to go to polls and seek sympathy for way he was sacked as PM.

The leftist People's Liberation Front (JVP), which regards the sacking of Wickremesinghe as unconstitutional, accused Sirisena of trying to consolidate his power grab.

Sirisena had suspended the assembly's work until mid-November when first moving against his prime minister. However, on November 1, he lifted the suspension after coming under severe criticism.

"Any further delays could damage Sri Lanka's worldwide reputation and deter investors", it warned.

On Thursday Wickremesinghe thanked his supporters and urged them not to give up in the showdown.

"You have not let this country be plunged into the darkness of dictatorship".

Latest News