COLOMBO, Sri Lanka- Sri Lanka’s president suspended parliament on Saturday even as the prime minister he shot the previous day claimed “hes having” majority support, adding to a flourishing political crisis in the South Asian island nation.
Chaminda Gamage, a spokesperson for the parliamentary speaker, has recognized that President Maithripala Sirisena had suspended parliament until Nov. 16.
The suspension came while toppled Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was bracing a news conference in which he asserted that he could demonstrate his majority support in parliament.
Sirisena sacked Wickremesinghe and his Cabinet on Friday and superseded him with former strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa, developing what some sees said could be a constitutional crisis.
The suspension of parliament is expected to give Rajapaksa time to try to muster enough support to survive any no confidence vote.
Several members of Rajapaksa’s family — former Cabinet members and government officials — are facing accuses of corruption. Rajapaksa’s appointment as prime minister is expected to provide relief to them.
Wickremesingh said at the news conference that parliament should be allowed to resolve the political crisis.
“As far as the prime ministership is related, the individual who the majority support in parliament has to be the council of ministers, and I have that majority of support, ” he said. “When a flow of no confidence was moved( in the past ), we overcame it, showing that the house has the confidence in me.”
“It is not necessary for us to create a crisis. It is no need for the person or persons of the country to accept, ” Wickremesingh said.
An Indian External Affairs Ministry official said New Delhi “is aware of the developments and watching the situation closely.”
Sri Lanka became a center for the India-China rivalry for restrict of the Indian Ocean region during Rajapaksa’s presidency, which displayed heavy pro-China reclines. His government provided for the outright sale of district for an artificial island formulated by China with an investment of $1.5 billion.
But the possibility of China’s presence in an area separated from Indian country by exclusively the restricted Palk Strait disturbance India.
Wickremesinghe, who was in charge of the economy as prime minister, scrapped the clause in the deal with Beijing granting outright land ownership.
Tensions have been building between Sirisena and Wickremesinghe for some time, as the president too did not approve of some of the economic reforms being introduced by the prime minister. Sirisena was also critical of police investigations into military personnel accused in the abductions and departures of civilians and journalists during Sri Lanka’s long civil war.
Rajapaksa ruled Sri Lanka as chairperson for nine years was launched in 2005, accumulating prodigious superpower and popularity among the country’s majority ethnic Sinhalese after overseeing the military’s merciless overcome of ethnic Tamil mavericks in May 2009, pointing the 25 -year civil crusade. Some supporters applauded him as a lord and savior.
But he too was criticised for failing to allow an inquiry into allegations of war crimes by the military. Under his government, dozens of reporters were killed, kidnapped and tortured and some fled the country horror for their lives. He lost a bid for re-election in 2015 amid organizing allegations of corruption and nepotism.
His return to power as “ministers ” could signal that Sri Lanka is sliding back to an era of violence against political opponents, reviewers and writers, observers said.