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Sri Lanka president holds all-party meeting talks to end political crisis

By PTI Updated: Nov 18, 2018 8:31 pm

Colombo, Nov. 18 (PTI): Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena on Sunday held an all-party meeting to end a political crisis set off by his controversial decision to remove the country’s prime minister last month.

The crisis erupted when President Sirisena suddenly announced he had sacked prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and installed Mahinda Rajapaksa in his place.

Sirisena later dissolved Parliament, almost 20 months before its term was to end, and ordered snap election. The Supreme Court on Tuesday overturned President Sirisena’s controversial decision to dissolve Parliament and halted the preparations for snap polls on January 5.

The crisis talks came two days after Sri Lanka’s parliament witnessed unprecedented violence as lawmakers threw furniture and chilli powder at each other.

This is the first time since the crisis erupted on October 26 that Sirisena, Wickremsinghe and Rajapaksa met face to face.

The JVP or the People’s Liberation Front stayed away from Sunday’s meeting. The party in a letter to Sirisena said that he was the creator of the crisis so he should end it. The party said it had no reason to attend the meeting.

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, who on Wednesday announced there is no prime minister or government following a no-confidence motion against disputed prime minister Rajapaksa, also boycotted the meeting.

Sirisena and Jayasuriya are at loggerheads ever since Jayasuriya decided to summon parliament on November 14 despite Sirisena’s dissolution of the the assembly to hold fresh elections.

After the second vote against Rajapakse on Friday, Wickremesinghe demanded that his government be restored, but there has been no response from Sirisena yet.

By PTI Updated: Nov 18, 2018 8:31:46 pm