US, UK rap dissolution of Sri Lanka’s Parliament
COLOMBO: President Maithripala Sirisena’s decision to dissolve Parliament, worsening a major political crisis, has drawn criticism from Western powers.
Sirisena dissolved Parliament on Friday night, only five days before it was due to reconvene and he was in danger of losing a vote of no confidence. He has also called a general election for Jan 5.
The president triggered an intense power struggle when he sacked prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe late last month and appointed the island’s former leader, Mahinda Rajapaksa, a pro-China strongman ousted by Sirisena in 2015, in his place.
The United States Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs said the US was “deeply concerned by news the Sri Lanka Parliament will be dissolved, further deepening the political crisis”.
Mark Field, the British minister of State for Asia and the Pacific, tweeted his concern.
“As a friend of Sri Lanka, the UK calls on all parties to uphold the constitution and respect democratic institutions,” he said.
Sirisena has said he fired Wickremesinghe because the latter was trying to implement “a new, extreme liberal political concept by giving priority for foreign policies and neglecting the local people’s sentiment”.