Sri Lanka to ensure human rights, media freedom, President tells envoys
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s will strengthen democracy and ensure human rights and media freedom, President Maithripala Sirisena has told foreign ambassadors and high commissioners in a meeting Monday.
“During this meeting, the President explained to the diplomats the conflicting grounds that existed within the previous government, which led to the appointment of a new Prime Minister,” a statement from his office said.
“Several diplomats, expressing their views said they wish Sri Lanka would adhere to the constitution of the country and conduct activities in a manner that would assure law and order in the country.”
Sirisena Friday dismissed prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, replacing him with Mahindra Rajapaksa, the former president he defeated at the 2015 presidential polls, and also suspended parliament.
Wichremesinghe has challenged his dismissal as unconstitutional and demanded parliament be reconvened to demonstrate he commands majority support.
The statement said President Sirisena had emphasized in his meeting with envoys that the new Prime Minister was appointed according to the powers vested in him in the constitution.
The new government wants to further strengthen existing ties with other countries in keeping with the non-aligned policy, he said.
He requested the cooperation and assistance of all the countries for the development activities of the government, the statement said.
“The President also said that the expectation of the new government is to ensure and take forward the measures taken to strengthen democracy, human rights, media freedom, peace and reconciliation among all the communities.”
All the ambassadors and high commissioners in Sri Lanka participated in the meeting where ministers Sarath Amunugama and Mahinda Samarasinghe and former minister Gamini Lakshman Peiris were present.
(COLOMBO, 30 October, 2018)