Colombo: Sri Lankan speaker of parliament Karu Jayasuriya Sunday recognised Ranil Wickremesinghe as the country’s prime minister three days after he was sacked by President Maithripala Sirisena. Also Read - Coronavirus: Sri Lanka to Grant Bail to 8,000 Remand Prisoners
Wickremesinghe who has been ousted from the Prime Minister post sought an emergency parliament session to prove his majority, reported news agency AFP on Saturday. Speaker Karu Jayasuriya’s office said that Wickremesinghe has sent a letter, seeking an emergency session of the Parliament, which was scheduled to meet on November 5 to debate the budget. Also Read - Mahinda Rajapaksa Calls For Unity to Fight Against Coronavirus in Sri Lanka
Meanwhile, Speaker of parliament Jayasuriya said Wickremesinghe’s request to retain the security and privileges of prime minister was fair until another candidate could prove a majority in parliament. Also Read - Sri Lanka's First COVID-19 Patient Recovers, Discharged From Hospital
“I consider the said request to be a democratic and fair request,” Jayasuriya said in a letter addressed to President Maithripala Sirisena, who dismissed Wickremesinghe on Friday.
Jayasuriya also warned the president that shutting parliament for nearly three weeks would exacerbate the political crisis gripping the Indian Ocean nation.
Sirisena on Friday removed Wickremesinghe and replaced him with Mahinda Rajapaksa, a former president, who was accused of human rights abuses, brazen nepotism. Rajapaksa took oath as the new Prime Minister soon after the appointment.
Sri Lankan Minister of Finance and Media, Mangala Samaraweera denounced the move as ‘illegal and unconstitutional’. He tweeted, “The appointment of Rajapaksa as the Prime Minister is unconstitutional and illegal. This is an anti-democratic coup.”
Meanwhile, in the wake of political turmoil in the country, the United States has asked Sri Lankan political parties to ‘act in accordance with their constitution’ and ‘refrain from violence’.