Maithripala Sirisena holds all-party meeting talks to end political crisis

Vastavam web: Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena on Sunday held an all-party meeting to end the raging political crisis set off by his controversial decision to remove prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe last month. The crisis erupted when President Sirisena suddenly announced on October 26 that he had sacked prime minister Wickremesinghe and installed ex-strongman 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 decision to dissolve Parliament and halted the preparations for snap polls on January 5. 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.

The chaos on Friday in Parliament forced the Speaker Jayasuriya to summon police inside the House. Jayasuriya, using a microphone, conducted the proceedings while standing on the floor of Parliament, which for the second time passed a no-confidence motion against Rajapaksa and his government by a voice vote. After the second vote against Rajapakse, Wickremesinghe demanded that his government be restored, but there has been no response from Sirisena yet.