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India is closely following recent political developments in Sri Lanka: MEA

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Srishty Choudhury | Updated on: 28 Oct 2018, 12:02:10 PM
India is closely following recent political developments in Sri Lanka: MEA

New Delhi:

India is closely following the political developments in Sri Lanka, a statement by the Ministry of External Affairs said on Sunday. On Saturday new Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena suspended Parliament till November 16 after sacked Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe sought an Emergency session to prove his majority, deepening the political crisis in the state.

The External Affairs Ministry said that as a democracy and a "friendly neighbour", India hoped that “democratic values and constitutional process will be respected”.

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Sirisena's move is seen as an effort to allow former strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa to buy more time to seek majority in Parliament. Rajapaksa and Sirisena combine has only 95 seats and is short of a simple majority in the 225-member house. Wickremesinghe's United National Party (UNP) has 106 seats on its own with just seven short of the majority.

Ranil Wickremesinghe, who was removed by President Mathripala Sirisena, has asserted that his removal as Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister is illegal and unconstitutional.

This comes as Sirisena issued two gazette notices making controversial strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa the new Prime Minister and formally recognising Wickremesinghe's dismissal, leading to a constitutional crisis in Sri Lanka.

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Wickremesinghe, who belongs to the United National Party (UNP), quoted the 19th amendment to the constitution and stressed he will continue to serve the country as Prime Minister. “I will continue to be the Prime Minister. Mahinda Rajapaksa's appointment is unconstitutional. Only I have the majority. The only way that can be changed is through a no confidence motion or if I resign,” Wickremesinghe told PTI.

The Colombo Gazette reported that hours after Sirisena dismissed Wickremesinghe, the President issued a notice on the appointment of Rajapaska as the new premier. Rajapaksa took oath at the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo on Friday and following the ceremony, Sirisena wrote to Wickremesinghe saying he had been removed.


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First Published : 28 Oct 2018, 12:02:01 PM