Sri Lanka on the brink after 'tyrant' president dissolves parliament

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Sri Lanka has been in a political crisis since October 26, when Sirisena fired his prime minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, and replaced him with former strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa. Rajapaksa has so far won 9 defections, still short of 113 to prove his majority in the 225-member House.

Under pressure from the United Nations, United States and the European Union to allow a parliament vote, Sirisena agreed three times to lift the suspension but changed his mind each time.

Mr Amunugama said that on Wednesday "there was to be a lot of commotion and unparliamentary activities sponsored by the speaker".

"The speaker was not planning to act according to the constitution and standing orders of Parliament", Amunugama said.

"At the moment we have 104 or 105 MPs", UPFA spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella told reporters, adding that the Sirisena-Rajapakse group hoped to secure support from "crossover" legislators.

"At the end of the day, he is a victim of his own homegrown crisis".

Wickremesinghe insisted his firing is unconstitutional.

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"This further political uncertainty is corrosive to Sri Lanka's democratic future and its commitments on reconciliation and accountability", it said.

Sri Lanka will hold a snap election in January, the country's president announced late November 9, hours after dissolving parliament when it became clear his prime minister nominee did not have a majority.

Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) leader Anbumani Ramadoss said although it was Sri Lanka's internal issue, the Centre can not overlook the developments as the security of India and the welfare of the Tamil population of the island nation was at stake.

"This dissolution by the President is illegal and goes against the constitution".

Wickremesinghe has since refused to leave the premier's official residence while the president also suspended parliament to head off any revolt against his action.

Just before sacking the parliament, Sirisena also inducted more ministers into his cabinet.

Sri Lanka boasts a key strategic location in relation to global shipping lines. But he lost a re-election bid in 2015 amid accusations of nepotism, corruption and wartime atrocities.

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While the President's legal team has invoked Article 33 (2) c of the Constitution, which gives power to the President to prorogue, summon and dissolve Parliament.

Independent legal experts had told Reuters that parliament could be dissolved only in early 2020, which would be four-and-half-years from the first sitting of the current parliament.

Sirisena had come under increased global pressure from the United States, the United Nations and the European Union to allow parliament to vote on which Prime Minister should form a government.

For the past few days, there was speculation that the President will dissolve the Parliament after completing appointments to the cabinet.

"We will fight the emerging tyranny of Sirisena".

The party said in a Twitter message that it will meet the elections commissioner to discuss the constitutionality of Sirisena's move.

Sri Lanka President dissolves parliament, general elections on January 5 Sat, Nov 10, 2018, 01:01 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

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"As a committed partner of Sri Lanka, we believe democratic institutions and processes need to be respected to ensure stability and prosperity", the statement said.

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