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Massive protest in Sri Lanka over Wickremesinghe's sacking


ANI Asia
Hundreds of people on Tuesday took to the streets of Colombo to protest against President Maithripala Sirisena's decision of sacking Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and demanded the reconvening of the parliament to end the constitutional crisis in the island nation.
The Voice of Justice' protest, organised by the United National Party (UNP), chanted slogans and held banners criticising Sirisena's decision of appointing his predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa as the new prime minister. Wickremesinghe's supporters tore and burnt cut-outs of Sirisena for his decision, Colombo Page reported.
Wickremesinghe, who also participated in the agitation, reiterated that he was still the prime minister of Sri Lanka and his sacking was "unconstitutional".
He added that the UNP will not allow democratic values to be undermined or eroded.
"This crisis is not a matter of personalities; it is not a matter of political parties. It is a question of whether we wish to live as a society governed by the rule of law, or as a society governed by the whims of individuals. This is not just an issue of today, it affects all future generations of Sri Lankans," Wickremesinghe said.
The ousted premier also demanded that the Sri Lankan Parliament should be reconvened as soon as possible to resolve the current turmoil.
Defending his decision to oust Wickremesinghe, Sirisena on Sunday had claimed that the former's political conduct was unbecoming of civilised politics, as he grossly violated the principles of good governance.
Addressing the nation regarding the recent political developments in the country, Sirisena asserted that political change was necessary, as Wickremesinghe "destroyed the concept and the noble expectations of good governance by his actions during the last few years."
Meanwhile, 126 lawmakers out of the total 225-member Sri Lankan Parliament have signed a petition urging the speaker to call an emergency session.
Political turmoil erupted in Sri Lanka after Sirisena sacked Wickremesinghe on October 26 and replaced him with Rajapaksa following the collapse of the governing coalition between the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and UNP.

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First Published: Oct 30 2018 | 4:51 PM IST

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