International pressure continued to mount against President Maithripala Sirisena’s decision to appoint a new Prime Minister yesterday, even as thousands gathered in Colombo to urge Parliament to reconvene to end a constitutional deadlock.
Former US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power said democracy in Sri Lanka had been “upended” by President Sirisena’s actions.
“He promised accountability but now brings back Rajapaksa who was responsible for war crimes, disappearances. Urgent diplomacy needed – Sri Lanka has dealt with too much bloodshed to go backwards.”
The political crisis in Sri Lanka was raised in the UK House of Commons, when UK former Foreign Office Minister Hugo Swire questioned Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt about the ongoing political situation.
“The international community must press for the recall of Parliament to ensure due process regarding the removal of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe,” Swire said.
Meanwhile, the International Commission of Jurists called on the Government of Sri Lanka to abide by the Constitution and its international obligations in peacefully resolving the current political crisis.
To this end, President Maithripala Sirisena should reconvene Parliament to end the constitutional crisis in line with the rule of law and democratic norms, the ICJ said.
“It is with grave concern that the ICJ has observed the unfolding of events in Sri Lanka since the evening of October 26, 2018,” the statement said. “The ICJ is concerned at the President’s move to prorogue Parliament until 16 November in what appears to be an effort to avoid parliamentary scrutiny of his actions. The move has exacerbated political tensions,” it added.