US worried with Sri Lanka crisis; asks Sirisena to convene parliament

Washington, Oct 30: The US State Department has expressed its concern over the ongoing crisis in Sri Lanka and called on the president of the island-nation, Maithripala Sirisena, to reconvene the parliament in consultation with the speaker and allow the people's representatives to carry on their duties. In a statement, the State Department also said that it would continue to keep a watch on the developments in Sri Lanka with "great concern".

"We call on the President, in consultation with the Speaker, to immediately reconvene parliament and allow the democratically elected representatives of the Sri Lankan people to fulfil their responsibility to affirm who will lead their government," the department's Spokesperson Heather Nauert said.

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It also urged all sides to keep away from intimidation and violence.

A constitutional crisis unfolded in Sri Lanka on October 26 night when President Maithripala Sirisena sacked the prime minister of the unity government, Ranil Wickremasinghe, and replaced him with former president Mahinda Rajapaksa. The move led to protests and controversy as the president was accused of violating the constitution though he defended it saying it was done for the country's interest.

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On Saturday, October 27, Sirisena suspended the parliament after Wickremasinghe, who refused to step down, sought an emergency session to prove his majority in parliament. The power supply to Temple Trees, the official residence of the Sri Lankan prime minister was also cut and Wickremasinghe's security was compromised.

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