Washington, DC – The United States on Friday (Nov. 9) expressed deep concern as the island nation of Sri Lanka slipped further into a political quagmire when President Maithripala Sirisena dissolved Parliament and called for fresh elections.
In a reply to IAT, the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs (SCA) of the US State Department said, “The US is deeply concerned by news the Sri Lanka Parliament will be dissolved, further deepening the political crisis. As a committed partner of Sri Lanka, we believe democratic institutions and processes need to be respected to ensure stability and prosperity.”
The statement which was tweeted by the SCA came as President Sirisena signed a decree dismissing the island’s 225-member assembly within hours of his party losing its bid to support former president Mahinda Rajapakse against rival claimant Ranil Wickremesinghe for the post of prime minister.
Earlier the US had advised that the Sri Lankan parliament should decide who is the legitimate prime minister of the country and repeatedly called on the Sri Lankan president to consult the speaker and reconvene the parliament immediately.
The political crisis was precipitated when President Sirisena sacked premier Ranil Wickremesinghe and controversial Sri Lankan strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa was sworn in as the new prime minister.