US asks Lanka to follow constitutional process to determine its leadership

The United States on Wednesday said it was currently focussed on the need for Sri Lanka to follow the necessary constitutional process to determine its leadership after a political crisis that has engulfed the Indian Ocean island nation since the abrupt firing of the prime minister by the country's president.

Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena replaced Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe with former president Mahinda Rajapaksa in a dramatic turn of events last Friday.

Sirisena swore in a new Cabinet under Rajapaksa on Monday despite a warning from the parliament speaker of possible violence if lawmakers were not summoned immediately to resolve the crisis.

"The US for now we are focused on the need for Sri Lanka to follow the necessary constitutional process to determine its leadership," the State Department Deputy Spokesperson Robert Paladino told reporters at his daily news conference.

 

The US, he said, calls on the president in consultation with the speaker to reconvene parliament immediately and to allow the democratically elected representatives of the Sri Lankan people to fulfil their responsibility to affirm who will lead their government.

"We urge all sides to uphold the law and to respect due process," he said, but sidestepped the question who the US recognizes as the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka.

"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.

"It's up to the parliament to decide who the prime minister is," Paladino said.



Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel