Lankan Prez asks all political parties to work together

15 Apr 2018

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has asked all political parties to join hands to work for a better future for the country, amid a deepening power struggle between him and his unity government's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Sirisena's remarks came as he wished the countrymen on the Sinhala and Tamil New Year. Wickremesinghe last week won the motion of no confidence moved by the joint Opposition and backed by Sirisena's ministers. "I expect the support of all political parties to take forward the government's work. I asked all political parties represented in parliament to join hands to work for a better future for the country," a statement quoted the President as saying.

Sirisena said his decision to suspend the parliamentary sessions until May 8 has been misinterpreted. In an apparent reference to the no confidence motion, he said: "I decided to end the current session in view of the recent conflicting situation prevailed in parliament. It is time to open a new session with a new programme outline by the government." In a surprise move, the  President had on Friday issued a proclamation suspending the sessions of Parliament.

There was no official reason given for the decision. In a special gazette bearing number 2066/43, Sirisena stated under article 70 of the Constitution, "do by this proclamation, prorogue Parliament with effect from the midnight of the Twelfth day of April and fix the eighth day of May, Two Thousand Eighteen as the date for commencement of the next session of Parliament". Parliament was to meet on April 19.