The Latest: Sri Lanka president cites Cabinet link to plot
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — The Latest on Sri Lanka’s political crisis (all times local):
Sri Lanka’s president says the main reason he decided to sack his prime minister was the alleged involvement of a Cabinet minister in a plot to assassinate him.
In a televised address to the nation Sunday, President Maithripala Sirisena said a person questioned by investigators has revealed the name of a minister in an alleged plot to assassinate him and a former defense secretary.
He said the only choice left for him under the circumstances was to sack Ranil Wickremesinghe and invite his former nemesis and ex-strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa to take over as prime minister and form a new government.
Wickremesinghe has called Sirisena’s move on Friday unconstitutional and said he can prove his majority support in Parliament.
Sirisena has suspended Parliament until Nov. 16.
The speaker of Sri Lanka’s Parliament has asked the country’s president to safeguard the rights of the sacked prime minister amid a deepening political crisis in the South Asian island nation.
Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said in a letter to President Maithripala Sirisena on Sunday that the continued suspension of Parliament would have “serious and undesirable consequences.”
Sirisena dismissed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and his Cabinet on Friday and replaced him with former strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa. Wickremesinghe has asserted that he could prove his majority support in Parliament.
On Saturday, Sirisena suspended Parliament in an apparent move to give Rajapaksa time to try to muster enough support to survive any no-confidence vote.