Sri Lanka Tamils push parliament to end crisis


Under Sirisena, Sri Lanka's Parliament passed a constitutional amendment restoring a two-term limit for the presidency and creating independent commissions for police, judiciary and public service. "Therefore, I am requested by the majority of the parliament to accept the position which was prior to these changes".

Mr Rajapaksa is a former president who led the country to a military defeat of Tamil separatist guerrillas in 2009 but who has since faced widespread allegations of human rights abuse and targeting of Tamil civilians.

Last week, Wickremesinghe met several foreign journalists who had arrived in Sri Lanka to report on the crisis.

The United States and the European Union have urged the president to immediately summon Parliament and let lawmakers decide who is to lead the country. The IDU also demands that the Parliament of Sri Lanka be reconvened to allow the democratically elected representatives of the Sri Lankan people to perform their duties.

Rajapaksa's government also came under fire for taking billions of dollars in loans from China to build a scantly used port. He argues that he can not legally be removed until he loses the support of Parliament.

Margue said some progress had been made towards human rights by the administration of sacked prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, such as the establishment of a missing persons' office to trace the thousands of Tamils and minority Muslims who disappeared during the war. Sirisena has formed a new cabinet since then with several ministers, state and deputy ministers already sworn in.

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The European Union is anxious the return of Rajapaksa as prime minister, could derail progress made toward national reconciliation following a war with ethnic minority Tamil separatists, the report said. Rajapaksa's return could increase China's clout in Sri Lanka.

Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe stated that his party was preparing its next course of action in the event of Parliament not being reconvened this week.

Sri Lanka regained the GSP plus preferential treatment in 2017.

Sirisena summoned Parliament to meet on Nov 5, as against Nov 16 planned earlier, as pressure grows to resolve the turmoil.

Rajapaksa claims he has enough numbers to prove his majority and at least six of Wickremasinghe's men have defected to his side.