United Nations chief asks Sri Lankan leader to revert to parliamentary procedures

A man walks past a poster of Sri Lanka's newly appointed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and President Maithripala Sirisen

A man walks past a poster of Sri Lanka's newly appointed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and President Maithripala Sirisen

President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday spoke with UN Secretary General António Guterres and apprised him of the political situation in the country.

Lawmakers from Rajapaksa's party have denied the allegations.

President Sirisena is the leader of the UPFA.

The Tamil National Alliance's announcement comes as divergent political parties in Parliament try to thwart Mahinda Rajapaksa from strengthening his position as prime minister.

The Party also condemned its Batticaloa district parliamentarian S. Viyalendran, who crossed over to the Rajapaksa ked government accepting a deputy minister post. Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (Sri Lanka People's Front), the party he formed in 2016, swept local elections in 2018 in an embarrassing defeat for the United National Front, a coalition formed with Sirisena in 2015 to defeat Rajapaksa.

As per section 42 (4) the Constitution of Sri Lanka, President can appoint a person who according to his belief can win the confidence of the House of Representatives as the Prime Minister.

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On Tuesday, angry protests rocked Sri Lanka's capital as thousands of demonstrators gathered for a rally organised by Wickremesinghe's party against what it said was a "coup" by President Sirisena.

Amid the ongoing political tension, Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in Sri Lanka Hanaa Singer met Sirisena and Parliament Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, delivering Guterres' message for the need to respect democratic values and constitutional provisions.

Wickremesinghe says his dismissal was illegal as he commands a greater majority in parliament than Mahinda Rajapakse, the former strongman president controversially installed in his place.

Tensions have been building between Sirisena and Wickremesinghe for some time, as the president did not approve of economic reforms introduced by the prime minister. To discuss this issue in more detail, Andrew Korybko is joined by Shenali Waduge, independent political analyst from Sri Lanka, and Jagath Perera, political activist from Colombo, Sri Lanka. He argues that he can not legally be removed until he loses the support of Parliament.

Asked what his next step would be if Parliament is not convened before 16 November, Wickremesinghe said that they had a plan in mind and would implement it. Parliament will be reconvened on the 5th of November.

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