Sacked Sri Lankan PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s residence becomes symbol of power struggle

Ranil Wickremesinghe has refused to accept his dismissal

Ranil Wickremesinghe has refused to accept his dismissal

Guterres told Sirisena he was following the Sri Lanka crisis "with concern", and "urged the president to revert to parliamentary procedures and allow the parliament to vote as soon as possible", a United Nations statement said.

Wickremesinghe has refused to accept the dismissal and remained bunkered at the prime minister's official residence for the past week amid almost daily twists in the saga. His office earlier clarified that he didn't accuse India's Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) of being behind it, but interestingly enough, Rajapaksa previously blamed that foreign intelligence agency of being behind his narrow electoral defeat in January 2015, which suggests a history of Indian meddling in Sri Lanka's internal affairs.

According to the latest counts, Wickremesinghe has 103 MPs while Rajapakse and Sirisena together have 100.

Sri Lanka lost so-called GSP+ access to the European Union when Mahinda Rajapaksa was President amid allegations of widespread human rights abuses and media suppression. He wants parliament to be convened so MPs can vote on the matter.

Karu Paranavithana, a lawmaker from Wickremesinghe's United National Front, welcomed the announcement, calling it "a great victory" for the people. In an address to the nation on October 28, Sirisena blamed Wickremesinghe of supporting corruption, planning to give away land to foreigners and of taking decisions without consulting him.

Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe stated that his party was preparing its next course of action in the event of Parliament not being reconvened this week. The president also alleged that a cabinet minister was involved in a plot to kill him and that police had obstructed an investigation.

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After winning the war, Rajapaksa rode on his popularity to change the constitution by scrapping a two-term limit for the presidency, enabling him to stay in power for life.

Wickremesinghe said in an interview with the AP that there is credible evidence that Rajapaksa's party is attempting to buy support in Parliament.

Wickremensinghe tweeted saying "the people's voices have been heard". He said the constitution had provisions which allowed him to sack the prime minister.

He said Sirisena's coalition tried to establish a dictatorship but failed.

Sirisena and Wickremesinghe now blame each other for violating "good governance" and "democratic principles". Wickremesinghe was appointed prime minister. Mahinda Rajapaksa was in charge when many accused the government of killing thousands of civilians hemmed into a thin strip of land at the end of the war - the army always denied this.

The Tamil National Alliance could tip the balance should Parliament be recalled this week to decide between two rivals both claiming the lawful right to head Sri Lanka's government.

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