Nasheed says 'heartbreaking' to see situation in Sri Lanka

Rival members of the Sri Lankan parliament gesture at each other next to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya during clashes among politicians at a session of parliament in Colombo

Rival members of the Sri Lankan parliament gesture at each other next to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya during clashes among politicians at a session of parliament in Colombo

The crisis erupted when President Sirisena suddenly announced on October 26 that he had sacked prime minister Wickremesinghe and installed ex-strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa in his place.

The meeting lasted almost two and half hours, according to Ada Derana reporter.

Brawling erupted in parliament with Rajapakse loyalists smashing furniture, throwing chilli powder and projectiles at rivals in a bid to disrupt a no-confidence motion against the disputed prime minister. Jayasuriya, using a microphone, conducted the proceedings while standing on the floor of Parliament, which for the second time passed a no-confidence motion against Rajapaksa and his government by a voice vote. Their rivals accuse them of delaying a vote because they do not yet have the required number of MPs.

Sirisena on Sunday called an all-party meeting which ended without making a breakthrough, Wickremesinghe's United National Party (UNP) said.

Kiriella said the United National Party and their allies have twice demonstrated that they had 122 legislators - nine more than the 113 required to demonstrate an absolute majority.

However these moves were suspended by the Supreme Court last Tuesday pending an investigation. "However, when we have to take a decision on a very vital issue like the change of government, voice voting is not proper and it lacks transparency, a communiqué issued by the President's Media Unit said".

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The conference with the participation of all political parties represented in the Parliament, was called by President Maithripala Sirisena, with the aim of bringing an end to the political crisis in Sri Lanka.

With parliament scheduled to reconvene on Monday, Sirisena appears faced with the choice of either re-appointing Wickremesinghe, whom he has said he will not bring back, or allowing the crisis to fester. The legislature reconvened the following day but degenerated into a punch-up.

For 19 days, Sri Lanka had two claimants to the prime minister's post, but on Thursday parliament speaker Karu Jayasuriya held that he would recognise neither as premier.

Former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed has expressed concern over the ongoing political crisis in neighbouring Sri Lanka, Raajje.mv reported.

Both sides have also warned that a prolonged power vacuum could lead to unrest.

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