Sri Lankan general election: Ranil to move court

Colombo: Following Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena dismissing the 225-member Parliament and calling for a snap general election on 5 January, Ranil Wickremesinghe’s United National Party of Sri Lanka has informed that it’s moving the matter to court.

In a series of tweets, the party said, “The party will meet the Election Commissioner shortly. There is a legal way of calling an election, and the UNP will support all legal measures. The emerging tyranny of Maithripala Sirisena will be fought in the courts, in Parliament and at an election. The party will be pursuing the intervention of the courts to ensure the rule of law and the constitution is protected against autocratic moves.”

The United National Party does not fear elections, and is not attempting to prevent an election. The party is committed to upholding the laws of the country. The actions of the President have gone against the laws of our nation. After the President illegally removed the Prime Minister, he failed to show he had the support of the majority in Parliament. He resorted to further illegal actions by dissolving Parliament without the 2/3rd support of Parliament,” it added.

In addition to this, Tamil National People’s Front leader Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam has urged the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) to be neutral without being partisan to either side for the sake of Tamil people in the North and the East. He said the present developments taking place in the country are part of a geopolitical scenario and the TNA should not get into this tangle.

Ponnambalam was of the view that the TNA should not think of the benefits of the party hierarchy when a decision is taken with regard to the present situation in the country.

The United States said it was tracking the situation very closely with the White House voicing concern over the island nation’s external debt situation. “We’re certainly tracking the situation very closely in Sri Lanka,” a senior US administration official told foreign reporters in a conference call ahead of Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to the Asia Pacific region.

“We are of course quite troubled by the dynamic that predated the current political situation in which you had significant increase in debt that was taken on by the previous government there in the name of development assistance,” the official said.

Without naming any specific project, he said the commercial liability of many of those projects appears to be questionable.