US, others denounce dissolution of Sri Lanka parliament as undemocratic

Sri Lanka LGBT rights activists protested the President

President Sirisena then suspended Parliament until November 14.

Sirisena's action came hours after his party, United People's Freedom Alliance admitted that it does not have the numbers to enable newly-appointed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa to win a confidence vote in Parliament.

Sri Lanka's Election Commission was quoted in some local media as saying that it will seek a Supreme Court opinion before conducting the election.

Sri Lanka President dissolves parliament, general elections on January 5 Sat, Nov 10, 2018, 01:01 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

"As a committed partner of Sri Lanka, we believe democratic institutions and processes need to be respected to ensure stability and prosperity".

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Canada's Foreign Policy twitter feed said that it was "deeply concerned" about the decision and referred to the risks to reconciliation work after the nation's civil war.

"As a friend of Sri Lanka, the United Kingdom calls on all parties to uphold the constitution and respect democratic institutions and processes".

Sirisena's decision also drew sharp criticism from various worldwide politicians and agencies, with many expressing "deep concern".

New elections are likely to be held in early January, almost two years earlier than originally planned, a government minister told the AFP news agency.

"We are prepared to go for an election, but this is illegal".

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"Now we have a caretaker government with limited functions", Premajayantha said.

Ajith Perera, a lawmaker of the Wickremesinghe-led United National Party (UNP) said the party will challenge the decision at the Election Commission first and then may head to the Supreme Court. He has opted for the path of total disregard of the constitution as well as constitutional morality to handle a crisis caused by one grave violation by him of the constitution. "The president can't do this", M.A. Sumanthiran, a spokesman for the alliance, told Reuters. Beijing loaned Sri Lanka billions of dollars for infrastructure projects when Rajapaksa was president between 2005-2015, putting the country deep into debt. He refused to vacate his official residence and demanded Parliament be summoned immediately to prove he had support among its members.

The admission, which came despite Sirisena's earlier claim that he had the support of 113 legislators when he sacked Wickremesinghe, had fuelled speculation that he would go for snap elections.

He said the UNP along with its allies had an absolute majority in the 225-member assembly and despite the sacking of the assembly, the party would publicly demonstrate its majority to the people. No force can interfere. The only other legal way would be through a referendum, or with the consent of two thirds of lawmakers.

"The dissolution clearly indicates that Mr. Sirisena has grossly misjudged and miscalculated the support that he might or could secure to demonstrate support in the Parliament", said Bharath Gopalaswamy, director at USA -based analyst group Atlantic Council's South Asia Center.

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