Published: November 18, 2018 9:00:32 pm
Sirisena called a meeting of all parties that ended without making a breakthrough on Sunday, said the United National Party (UNP) of Wickremesinghe. (Case file)
A meeting of all parties convened by Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena failed to advance on Sunday to end the furious political crisis triggered by his controversial decision to oust Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe last month. The crisis erupted when President Sirisena suddenly announced on October 26 that he had fired Prime Minister Wickremesinghe and installed former strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa in his place.
Sirisena later dissolved Parliament, almost 20 months before the end of his term, and ordered a quick election. The Supreme Court overturned President Sirisena's decision to dissolve parliament on Tuesday and halted preparations for the quick elections on January 5. The crisis talks came after the Sri Lankan parliament witnessed unprecedented violence when lawmakers threw furniture and gunpowder. Lawmakers approved a second vote of no confidence against Rajapaksa on Friday, but Sirisena refused to accept it and said his advice was not followed.
Sirisena called a meeting of all parties that ended without making a breakthrough on Sunday, said the United National Party (UNP) of Wickremesinghe. This was the first time that Sirisena, Wickremasinghe and Rajapaksa came face to face since the crisis broke out on October 26. Wickremesinghe has argued that his firing by Sirisena was unconstitutional and illegal and that he was still the prime minister.
"We put our cards on the table. We told Rajapaksa that if the President's decisions are wrong, they can move a motion to challenge it and make it happen. President Sirisena's response was null and void, "said Lakshman Kiriella, a leading UNP leader, after talks that lasted more than two hours." We told the president that we have the majority. "We are able to present the affidavits. that we signed, "said Ajith P Perera, said another leader of the UNP.
The JVP or the Popular Front of Liberation stayed away from the meeting on Sunday. The party in a letter to Sirisena said that he was the creator of the crisis, so he should end it. The party said that he had no reason to attend the meeting. Spokesman Karu Jayasuriya, who on Wednesday announced that there is no prime minister or government following a motion of distrust against the disputed prime minister, Rajapaksa, also boycotted the meeting. Sirisena and Jayasuriya have disagreed since Jayasuriya decided to convene the parliament on November 14, despite the dissolution of the badembly by Sirisena to hold new elections.
Friday's chaos in Parliament forced President Jayasuriya to summon the police within the House. Jayasuriya, using a microphone, conducted the procedure while standing in parliament, which for the second time pbaded a motion of no confidence against Rajapaksa and his government by voice vote.
Jayasuriya volunteered for the first time to vote for his name, but was unable to do so due to the commotion and opted for a voice vote. Then he built the house until Monday.
After the second vote against Rajapakse, Wickremesinghe demanded the restoration of his government, but Sirisena has not yet received a response. Meanwhile, Wickremesinghe's party asked Facebook to safeguard the identity of its supporters on the social media platform, for fear of sharing information with what it calls the "illegal" government of the country may lead to an offensive against users.
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