Sri Lanka president summons Parliament after PM turmoil

UN Secretary General asks Sri Lanka's President to allow Parliament vote ASAP

UN Secretary General asks Sri Lanka's President to allow Parliament vote ASAP

The Sunday Times newspaper described the sacking of the Prime Minister as "sheer political expediency" and outside the law.

Successive Washington administrations backed Rajapakse's renewed war against the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) from mid-2006 until 2009, in which tens of thousands of Tamil civilians were killed. Rajapaksa is credited as a hero by Sri Lanka's ethnic Sinhalese majority for ending the conflict with a faction from the ethnic Tamil minority population.

There was no immediate reaction from Rajapakse or his party to the speaker's move to call parliament nor the allegations of offers to lawmakers.

Ranil Wickremesinghe is refusing to quit after being fired last week by President Maithripala Sirisena.

Deep-seated hostility among working people, the rural poor and the Tamil masses against Rajapakse's anti-democratic rule was exploited by Sirisena, Wickremesinghe and others, with the backing of pseudo-left organisations such as the Nava Sama Samaja Party, the trade unions and academics, who provided the political operation with a democratic garb. Plantation workers in the Tamil-dominated Vavuniya district had planned a strike on October 27, demanding a wage hike. "Now we doubt whether the space will continue to exist", he said. Human rights activists agree. "He encouraged the government to uphold its earlier commitments to human rights, justice and reconciliation, in line with Human Rights Council resolutions", the readout said. "This only reopens the door for past abusers to return to awful practices at a time when war victims have still not got justice", Adams said. "Sirisena is bringing back to power the man who terrorised us", said Sandya, wife of missing journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda. "When we campaigned for Sirisena in 2015, we talked against the politics of fear and repression", she said. Even the officials from the Northern Province are anxious. "Under Rajapaksa, who always sails on the triumph of war, we can not expect any justice", she said. His ruthlessness with dissenters, the lavish lifestyles of his three sons and nepotism that saw his brothers holding sway in many key institutions eroded Rajapaksa's popularity, resulting in his defeat in his bid for a third term in 2015.

"The constitution doesn't make provisions for personality clashes", he said. Wickremesinghe, too, held a meeting with foreign diplomats.

The most famous (or notorious) symbol of the burgeoning Sri Lanka-China cooperation is the port of Hambantota at the island's south, viewed as an important cog in the wheel of Beijing's One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative, or a part of "String of Pearls" that Beijing seeks to create around its neighbour India in fight for regional, and ultimately, global dominance.

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