Washington, DC – The United States on Wednesday said the Sri Lankan parliament should decide who is the legitimate prime minister of the country and again called on the Sri Lankan president to consult the speaker and reconvene the parliament immediately.
President Maithripala Sirisena had sacked premier Ranil Wickremesinghe and controversial Sri Lankan strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa was sworn in as the new prime minister.
On the question of whom does the US recognize as the prime minister of Sri Lanka, Robert Palladino, Deputy Spokesperson for the State Department said, “It’s up to the (Sri Lankan) parliament to decide who the prime minister is.” The US was “ for now focused on the need for Sri Lanka to follow the necessary constitutional process to determine its leadership,” added Palladino.
Addressing an off-camera, on-record briefing, Palladino told journalists, “The Sri Lankan constitution includes provisions on changes in the government and related authorities, and the implementation of those provisions is a matter for the elected representatives of the Sri Lankan people.”
Reiterating the US call to the “president in consultation with the speaker to reconvene parliament immediately and to allow the democratically elected representatives of the Sri Lankan people to fulfill their responsibility to affirm who will lead their government,” Palladino urged “all sides to uphold the law and to respect due process.”
Palladino confirmed that Alaina B. Teplitz, the new US Ambassador to Sri Lanka had arrived in the country and will be presenting “her credentials tomorrow (Thursday).” Teplitz will serve concurrently as Ambassador to the Republic of Maldives.
Earlier report: US Refuses to Endorse Sacked or New Leaders in Sri Lanka