Asia-Pacific

Sri Lanka president summons parliament

Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena has ordered parliament to reconvene on November 14 despite calls to summon politicians immediately and end a crisis.

Sri Lanka's president has issued an order for parliament to reconvene on November 14, when politicians will get the chance to hold a confidence vote on the nation's former strongman who has been named prime minister.

The announcement, made in a decree on Sunday, comes amid a political crisis in the South Asian island nation.

It was sparked when President Maithripala Sirisena dismissed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and his Cabinet and replaced him with Mahinda Rajapaksa last month.

Sirisena suspended parliament in an apparent attempt to give Rajapaksa time to muster support to survive any no-confidence vote.

Political opponents, rights groups and foreign governments including the United States and European Union have urged Sirisena to summon parliament immediately and end the crisis.

Thousands of Sri Lankans also protested in the capital in the past week demanding Sirisena immediately convene Parliament.

Sirisena said he made the replacement in part because Wickremesinghe and a cabinet colleague were behind an alleged assassination plot against him.

Details of the alleged plot have not been disclosed and Wickremesinghe has repeatedly denied the accusation.

Sirisena's moves have triggered a power struggle that some observers have called a constitutional crisis.

Tensions had been building between Sirisena and Wickremesinghe for some time, with Sirisena critical of economic reforms and investigations into human rights violations by the military.

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