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President tells UN Secretary General:New Govt will continue to uphold democracy

05 November 2018
President tells UN Secretary General:New Govt will continue to uphold democracy

The political turmoil began after Sirisena sacked PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and installed former strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa in his place. The party said in its statement that Rajapaksa's appointment and President Maithripala Sirisena's suspension of Parliament was undemocratic. "Therefore, I am requested by the majority of the parliament to accept the position which was prior to these changes".

Sirisena said, "this information (received by investigators) contains a number of details hitherto hidden to the people".

Sri Lanka also pledged to provide justice and reparations to victims of human rights violations committed during the 26-year civil war, many of which were blamed on Rajapaksa and his brother, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who was his defence secretary. His United National Party submitted a motion to that effect to parliament but Sirisena suspended its session until November 16, citing a need for Rajapaksa to make arrangements for the new government prevented the vote. During this meeting, the President apprised the United Nations representative regarding the prevailing political situation in Sri Lanka.

Rajapakse-led Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna said a new caretaker cabinet will be sworn in on Monday.

Rajapaksa's government also came under fire for taking billions of dollars in loans from China to build a scantly used port.

Meanwhile, thousands of supporters continue to occupy Wickremesinghe's official residence saying they would resist any move by Sirisena to evict their prime minister. While India has enjoyed the status of being Sri Lanka's main economic partner for most part of its independent history and shares strong cultural and historical bonds, China is fast catching up and even overtook New Delhi as Colombo's largest trading partner in 2017. Mr Sirisena suspended Parliament until Nov 16 and has made no public statement on his plans.

The Speaker said that a serious political-constitutional crisis had arisen in the country and called on the president to protect the rights and privileges of Wickremesinghe "until any other person emerges from within Parliament as having secured the confidence of Parliament".

Wickremesinghe says his dismissal is unconstitutional.

Rajapaksa claims he has enough numbers to prove his majority and at least six of Wickremasinghe's men have defected to his side. Parliament will be reconvened on the 5th of November.