Sri Lanka Tamils push parliament to end crisis

A man walks past a poster of Sri Lanka's newly appointed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and President Maithripala Sirisen

Image President Sirisen kicked out the incumbent PM and replaced him with Mr Rajapakse

Sri Lanka will lose duty free access to the European Union if the country goes back to violating human rights, an ambassador has said, amid a political crisis sparked by a contested appointment of a new prime minister.

Under the powers vested in the President by the constitution in accordance with Article 70 (3) (I) of the Constitution, President Sirisena has chose to refer Parliament in this manner.

The new Sri Lankan prime minister, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, is considered the strongman of national politics under whose presidency the civil war that ravaged the country for more than three decades came to an end.

Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe stated that his party was preparing its next course of action in the event of Parliament not being reconvened this week.

"The Secretary-General urged the President to revert to parliamentary procedures and allow Parliament to vote as soon as possible" readout said.

Karu Paranavithana, a lawmaker from Wickremesinghe's United National Front, welcomed the announcement, calling it "a great victory" for the people.

The TNA has already said it would vote against Rajapakse in a no-confidence motion when parliament reconvenes.

President addressing the nation, recently, said the plot to assassinate him had prompted him to appoint former President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the PM and confirmed the involvement of a Cabinet Minister too in this plot.

Tensions have been building between Sirisena and Wickremesinghe for some time, as the president did not approve of economic reforms introduced by the prime minister.

It has two prime ministers, or at least two politicians both laying claim to be the sole legal head of government.

It has to be mentioned that when Mr Ranil Wickramasinghe was appointed as the Prime Minister in 2015, by the present President of Sri Lanka, he had only 42 MPs backing him whereas the sitting Prime Minister had the support of over 120 MPs.

Sirisena also suspended Parliament until November 16. He argues that he can not legally be removed until he loses the support of Parliament.

Premajayantha said that parliament needed time to prepare to meet and there was not enough time to meet on November 5.

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