U.S. and others denounce dissolution of Sri Lanka parliament

By REUTERS
November 10, 2018 09:52
1 minute read.
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Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena's decision to dissolve parliament, worsening an already major political crisis, has drawn criticism from Western powers, including the United States and Britain.

Sirisena dissolved parliament on Friday night, only five days before it was due to reconvene and he was in danger of losing a vote of no confidence. He has also called a general election for Jan. 5.

The president triggered an intense power struggle when he sacked prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe late last month and appointed the island's former leader, Mahinda Rajapaksa, a pro-China strongman ousted by Sirisena in 2015, in his place.

Sirisena's rivals are set to challenge his decision, which they describe as illegal and unconstitutional, in the Supreme Court on Monday.

The US Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs said in a tweet that the United States was "deeply concerned by news the Sri Lanka Parliament will be dissolved, further deepening the political crisis." It said democracy needed to be respected to ensure stability and prosperity.

Mark Field, the British minister of State for Asia and the Pacific, tweeted his concern about the dissolution of parliament days before it was due to be reconvened.

"As a friend of Sri Lanka, the UK calls on all parties to uphold the constitution and respect democratic institutions and processes," Field said.

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