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Sri Lanka Political Crisis: US, Commonwealth Press For Early Convening Of Parliament To Resolve Issue

India has said that it was 'very closely' following the developments in Sri Lanka and hoped that democratic values and the constitutional process there will be respected.

Sri Lanka Political Crisis: US, Commonwealth Press For Early Convening Of Parliament To Resolve Issue
| File Photo/AP Images
Sri Lanka Political Crisis: US, Commonwealth Press For Early Convening Of Parliament To Resolve Issue
outlookindia.com
2018-11-06T17:34:11+05:30

The United States and Commonwealth reached out to the Sri Lankan Parliament and asked to allow the elected representatives to have their say in resolving the political crisis in the island nation.

Sri Lanka is facing a major constitutional crisis sparked by President Maithripala Sirisena's move to oust Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, replace him with ex-president Mahinda Rajapaksa and suspend Parliament.

Amidst growing international pressure on Sirisena to summon the Parliament to allow Wickremesinghe to seek a vote of confidence, US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Alaina B. Teplitz met with Speaker Karu Jayasuriya on Tuesday.

"Met Speaker of Parliament Hon. Karu Jayasuriya @KaruOnline to discuss the importance of Parliament reconvening to put an end to this political crisis.

"These democratic institutions should serve the people of #SriLanka; let the elected representatives have their say," Teplitz tweeted.

India has said that it was "very closely" following the developments in Sri Lanka and hoped that democratic values and the constitutional process there will be respected.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has voiced concern over the political crisis in Sri Lanka, urging President Sirisena to revert to parliamentary procedures and allow Parliament to vote "as soon as possible".

Meanwhile, the Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland's spokesperson on Monday issued a statement, saying she has noted the decision by President Sirisena to reconvene Parliament on November 14.

The Secretary-General Scotland emphasised the importance of the role of Parliament as provided for under the Constitution and expressed hope that Parliament would meet as soon as possible to resolve the current crisis in the country.

The Secretary-General referred to the Commonwealth Charter, adopted in 2012 by all the Commonwealth member states which specifically refers to the responsibility of governments, political parties and civil society to uphold and promote democratic culture and practices.

The Commonwealth is an association of 53 independent states that are mostly former territories of the British Empire.

The Secretary-General encouraged the political leaders and people of Sri Lanka to engage in "constructive dialogue" and ensure that the country's constitution and the rule of law is upheld, the statement said.

"The Commonwealth remains ready to assist and will collaborate with other international partners to provide support if required by the Government and people of Sri Lanka," it said.

Ousted premier Wickremesinghe has refused to vacate his official residence, insisting he is the lawful prime minister and that the president had no constitutional right to replace him.

Critics of President Sirisena say he suspended Parliament to allow Rajapaksa more time to gather enough support to survive a no-confidence vote when lawmakers meet on November 14.

Parliament Speaker Jayasuriya said on Monday that he will not recognise the new appointments until either side is able to prove it has a majority.

(PTI)

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