COLOMBO, Sri Lanka – Thousands of Sri Lankans marched in the capital on Tuesday to demand that the President immediately…
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka – Thousands of Sri Lankans marched in the capital on Tuesday to demand that the President immediately call Parliament to resolve an in-depth political crisis after his Prime Minister has been sued.
More than 10,000 people, including lawmakers and rights activists marched in Colombo, called the slogan and displayed banners and posters. They then held a rally near the official residence of Ranil Wickremesinghe, the resigned prime minister.
Protest came one day after Parliament’s speaker Karu Jayasuriya warned of possible violence if legislators were not convened immediately.
President Maithripala Sirisena dismissed Wickremesinghe and his cabinet on Friday and replaced him with former ruler Mahinda Rajapaksa. On Saturday, Sirisena suspended Parliament in an obvious move to give Rajapaksa time to gather enough support to survive potential misunderstandings.
Wickremesinghe has demanded re-convening of parliament and says he is still controlling a majority of the legislators.
Sirisena’s movements have triggered a power struggle, and some observers say it has created a constitutional crisis.
Demonstrators held speeches as read “” Let us defeat dictatorship that undermines the constitution, restore democracy, maintain the constitution and convene parliament to end the crisis. “
Addressing the protesters Wickremesinghe said that Sirisena has used his chief executive officer
” We are here to protect democracy in the country, “he said.  Demonstrators condemned Sirenia’s movement.
“This is a very indecent and antidemocratic feature of President Sirenena. We voted him for power and we will fight and make sure he is coming home soon,” said Cyril Ranasinghe. , a 59-year-old farmer.
Edward Udayadas, a researcher, said he joined the protest because he wants democracy. “This is not constitutional.” We want justice. as a Sri Lankan citizen to protect democracy. “
On Sunday, two people died and one was injured in a shot at the Petroleum Ministry, the first violence that was related to political unrest.
The United States has said that it follows the events “with concern” and urged Sirisena to re-establish parliament.
Sirisena said he dismissed Wickremesinghe mainly because a government council participated in an alleged plot to kill Sirisena. He did not reveal details of the alleged plot. Wickremesinghe has rejected Sirisena’s accusation.
Sirisena’s supporters have spoken for weeks about an alleged plot, but Sunday was the first time Sirisena commented publicly about it.
A police informant Namal Kumara told reporters on Sunday that Wickremesinghe and a cabinet colleague, former Army commissioner Sarath Fonseka, stood behind the alleged site.
The police are investigating the report of a plot, but no arrests have been made.
On Monday, Fonseka said they were being threatened with arrests. “We are ready to go to prisons. We are not afraid.” We have encountered similar situations, “he said, accusing Sirisena of taking non-constitutional and unemocratic moves” to deepen his political career. “
Rajapaksa followers has demanded that Wickremesinghe leave his official residence permit or face forced expulsion.
Tensions have been built between Sirisena and Wickremesinghe for some time, as the president did not approve of economic reforms introduced by the prime minister. Sirisena was also critical of investigations of military personnel accused of human rights violations during Sri Lanka’s long civil war, which ended in 2009.