President tells UN Secretary General:New Govt will continue to uphold democracy

President tells UN Secretary General:New Govt will continue to uphold democracy

President tells UN Secretary General:New Govt will continue to uphold democracy

Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena announced on Sunday (Nov 4) that parliament would reconvene a week later than expected, prolonging a bitter power struggle that has crippled the country.

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) could tip a vote to decide between the two rivals and has already said it would vote against Rajapakse in a no-confidence motion when parliament reconvenes.

Tens of thousands of people irrespective of their political affiliations yesterday thronged the Parliament Roundabout to express their solidarity with the new government led by President Maithripala Sirisena and new Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Almost all politicians who left the UNP took up ministerial posts in the new cabinet.

Since Monday, Sirisena has handed out 14 cabinet posts, including five to lawmakers who defected from Wickremesinghe's coalition.

The billions China loaned Sri Lanka to develop the port and airport - a sign of Rajapaksa's pro-China leanings has India anxious.

In almost nine decades of universal adult suffrage in Sri Lanka, Asia's oldest democracy has been no stranger to insurgency, civil war, assassinations and suicide bombers. Sirisena suspended Parliament till November 16, apparently to give Rajapaksa time to muster support.

The Rajapakse family still wields enormous power and influence in Sri Lanka, despite members of the clan and close officials being accused of siphoning off billions of dollars during before his ouster in 2015.

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The rally "Jana Mahimaya" held in support of the newly appointed government has commenced from near the Parliament roundabout.

During Monday's rally Rajapaksa urged smaller parties, which have emerged as kingmakers, to support him over Wickremesinghe.

After winning the presidency as a neutral candidate in 2015, Sirisena accepted an offer from Rajapaksa to take over his Sri Lanka Freedom Party. Rajapaksa's return could increase China's clout in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka's Speaker Karu Jayasuriya has said that he is recognizing the status quo before the political crisis that was triggered on October 26, until a majority is prove by a new group.

Wickremesinghe claimed that the move was illegal as he still enjoyed a majority in the nation's 225-member parliament.

In remarks broadcast on state television, Rajapaksa told a meeting at his office that Sirisena chose to summon Parliament on November 5.

"Former Prime Minister Wickremesinghe is responsible for selling the country's assets and resources that are to the people and the future generations to foreign countries".

Jayasuriya, in a meeting with political party legislators, said President Sirisena had in a telephone conversation informed him that parliament would convene on November 7 and a gazette notification would be issued either Friday or Saturday. They have delayed the date for reconvening Parliament so that they could buy over MPs.

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