Ethnic Tamil party pledges vote against Sri Lankan strongman

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"The majority of the members are of the view that the changes done in the parliament are unconstitutional and against the traditions", the speaker of parliament, Karu Jayasuriya, said in a statement.

Guterres "offered assistance in facilitating a dialogue with all the parties to resolve the situation", it said.

As per section 42 (4) the Constitution of Sri Lanka, President can appoint a person who according to his belief can win the confidence of the House of Representatives as the Prime Minister.

Wickremesinghe has refused to vacate his official residence claiming he is the lawful prime minister and that the president had no constitutional right to replace him.

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Sirisena was also under increasing pressure by rights groups and foreign governments including the United States to summon Parliament and end the crisis. The subsequent appointment of Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa as Prime Minister has led to a stable alliance which includes several lawmakers from the former PM's United National Party. On the other hand, skeptics think that Rajapaksa's return to power through what some are describing as an anti-constitutional coup is part of a Chinese plot to geopolitically compensate for the relative losses that it's expected to experience in the Maldives after Chinese-friendly President Yameen failed to be reelected in late September following his surprise loss to a very pro-Indian opposition politician. Rajapaksa camp had already enticed a TNA legislator to join ranks by giving him a deputy ministerial position.

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa's son MP Namal Rajapaksa yesterday indicated that the long-held demand of the Tamil minority community to release all Tamil prisoners may be fulfilled soon, a move aimed at persuading Tamil legislators to support Rajapaksa, the Press Trust of India reported.

In almost nine decades of universal adult suffrage in Sri Lanka, Asia's oldest democracy has been no stranger to insurgency, civil war, assassinations and suicide bombers.

A lawmaker from the main Tamil party defected to the Rajapaksa side and was made a minister on Friday.

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Premajayantha said that parliament needed time to prepare to meet and there was not enough time to meet on November 5.

It was not clear if and when the 225-member parliament would vote on the UNP's motion that Wickremesinghe's dismissal was illegal.

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