Sri Lanka President’s party in U-turn over ending crisis

ECONOMYNEXT –  Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena’s party on Thursday reignited a constitutional crisis over who heads the government by making a U-turn on a decision to end a suspension of parliament.

Sirisena set off the crisis last Friday by sacking Ranil Wickremesinghe as prime minister and bringing in former strongman leader Mahinda Rajapakse. Wickremesinghe refused to accept the dismissal and the president suspended parliament.

Sirisena told diplomats on Thursday that he was lifting the suspension so parliament could meet next Monday — opening up the possibility of a vote on which of the rivals should govern.

But Mahindananda Aluthgamage, the stalwart of Sirisena’s new coalition, later told reporters that "the parliament will reconvene only on November 16".

Aluthgamage said they will hold a mass rally near the parliament roundabout on November 5.

“We will call it 113-Plus rally,” Aluthgamage said adding that they hoped to bring about 5,000 bus loads of people for the mass demonstration.

Meanwhile, Ranil Wickremesinghe’s United National Party (UNP) said Sirisena has gone back on calling parliament earlier because they could not muster the required majority and needed more time to engineer defections. (COLOMBO, November 1, 2018 – Update II)

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