US urges Sri Lankan president to reconvene parliament
Violent constitutional crisis triggered by sudden firing of prime minister
The US State Department on Sunday called on Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena to “immediately reconvene parliament” to allow representatives there to address a violent constitutional crisis triggered by the sudden firing of the prime minister, AFP reported.
“We urge all sides to refrain from intimidation and violence,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.
“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 fulfill their responsibility to affirm who will lead their government.”
Sirisena fired Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Friday and installed a former strongman in his place, causing political chaos in the Indian Ocean country.
Police said one man was killed and two people were injured Sunday when bodyguards for Petroleum Minister Arjuna Ranatunga, a Wickremesinghe loyalist, fired shots as a mob allied to the president threatened the cabinet member.
Wickremesinghe has refused to move out of the prime minister’s official residence since being controversially deposed, insisting that his dismissal is illegal and demanding that an emergency session of parliament be held to prove he still has a majority.