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02 Nov 2018 | 05:39 PM UTC

Sri Lanka: President summons parliament to reconvene amid political crisis /update 4

Sri Lankan president summons parliament to reconvene on November 7

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Event

Sri Lanka's parliament will reconvene on Wednesday, November 7, after its suspension and the dismissal and replacement of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. The resumption of the legislature was confirmed by President Maithripala Sirisena and Parliament Speaker Karu Jayasuriya on Friday, November 2. The announcement comes after large protests in Colombo and warnings of further protests and violence should parliament not reconvene. Both the ousted and newly appointed prime ministers claim to have the required number of votes to secure a majority of 113 parliamentarians, though it is unclear if either have enough support to be elected prime minister in the upcoming session. Protests and disruptions are possible in the coming days and weeks, particularly surrounding any votes to secure the premiership.

Context

Parliament was initially suspended on October 26 following the dismissal of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and his cabinet after President Sirisena's party left the majority coalition. President Sirisena immediately appointed former president Mahinda Rajapaksa as prime minister, a move that Wickremesinghe declared illegal. Both Wickremesinghe and Rajapaksa are attempting to shore up support among legislators ahead of the reconvention of parliament and a vote for leadership.

Advice

Individuals present in Sri Lanka, particularly in Colombo, are advised to keep abreast of the domestic political climate, adhere to instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments, and to avoid all protests due to the risk of violence.

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