Par­lia­ment dis­solved as cri­sis deep­ens

The Buffalo News - - PARK RECOMMENDATIONS - – New York Times

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka – The pres­i­dent of Sri Lanka dis­solved the coun­try’s Par­lia­ment Fri­day night, state me­dia re­ported, deep­en­ing a two-week con­sti­tu­tional cri­sis over who is the le­git­i­mate ruler of the is­land na­tion.

The move, which crit­ics said vi­o­lated the na­tion’s constitution, came two weeks af­ter Pres­i­dent Maithri­pala Sirisena dis­missed Prime Min­is­ter Ranil Wick­remesinghe and re­placed him with a pop­u­lar for­mer leader. That leader, Mahinda Ra­japaksa, was ac­cused of hu­man rights abuses, nepo­tism and ex­ces­sively close ties to China when he gov­erned the coun­try.

Wick­remesinghe and many mem­bers of Par­lia­ment had chal­lenged the le­git­i­macy of Ra­japaksa’s ap­point­ment, and for­eign gov­ern­ments, in­clud­ing the United States, had urged Sri Lanka’s gov­ern­ment to al­low law­mak­ers in Par­lia­ment to de­cide who the prime min­is­ter should be.

Sirisena had de­clared that he would al­low a vote when Par­lia­ment re­con­vened Wed­nes­day.

By dis­solv­ing Par­lia­ment in­stead, Sirisena has plunged the coun­try into po­lit­i­cal chaos. Wick­remesinghe’s sup­port­ers were pre­par­ing le­gal pa­pers Fri­day night to chal­lenge the lat­est move in the coun­try’s Supreme Court.

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