COLOMBO: Sri Lanka faced another day of political turmoil on Saturday with President Maithripala Sirisena suspending the 225-member Parliament till November 16, a day after sacking prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and swearing in former strongman leader Mahinda Rajapaksa as his replacement.
Security forces remained on high alert amid reports of sporadic violence between supporters of Wickremsinghe and Rajpaksa, and all police leave has been cancelled.
“It’s a right royal mess out there,” said a Colombo-based journalist. “No one really seems to know what is going on, and effectively, we have two people who insist they are Prime Ministers. Though we are hearing about violence in the districts, and some pro-Wikremesinghe television stations were mobbed and shut down for a while last night by Rajpaksa supporters, Colombo is by and large quiet so far, “ she said.
Wickremesinghe, who continues to occupy the heavily guarded official residence of the Prime minister, has demanded an emergency session of parliament to prove he still had a majority, and insisted in a letter to Sirisena that he was still the prime minister.