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Secretary-General urges restraint in Sri Lanka

28 October 2018

The Commonwealth Secretary-General, Patricia Scotland, has noted the unfolding political developments in Sri Lanka.

She encourages the political leadership and national institutions of the country to uphold the rule of law and comply with Sri Lanka’s constitutional framework in resolving the current challenges. 

She further urges respect for and protection of fundamental rights and freedoms including freedom of the media. She calls for all to exercise restraint.

On Friday 26 October, the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) withdrew from the National Unity Government in Sri Lanka. President Maithripala Sirisena then dismissed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe from his post, and appointed Mahinda Rajapaksa as Prime Minister. 

Mr Wickremesinghe refused to recognise his dismissal.  Both he and Mr Rajapaksa claim to be the Prime Minister.  Both claim that they have the support of a majority of Members of Parliament.

On Saturday 27 October, President Sirisena prorogued Parliament until 16 November. Parliament was initially due to reconvene on 5 November.