Wednesday, December 19, 2018 01:08:25 AM

Western diplomats shun meeting with Sri Lanka minister over political crisis

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Western countries have been urging President Maithripala Sirisena to convene parliament and let the legislature determine who should be prime minister. (AFP pic)

COLOMBO: Eight Western countries stayed away from a meeting with Sri Lanka’s government on Monday to register their protest against President Maithripala Sirisena’s decision to dissolve parliament, diplomatic and government sources said.

Sri Lanka has been in political turmoil since Sirisena fired Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe last month and appointed a pro-China former president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, in his place.

Western countries led by the United States and the European Union had been urging Sirisena to convene parliament and let the legislature determine who should be prime minister.

Sirisena reconvened parliament on Nov 14, but on Friday, he dissolved it and ordered a general election for Jan 5.

Foreign Minister Sarath Amunugama called the heads of 43 foreign missions for a meeting on the political situation on Monday but only a handful turned up, the sources said….

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