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‘Sri Lankan parliament must decide on prime minister’ - US State Dept spokesperson

In a second day of questioning on Sri Lanka at the US State Department’s Daily Press Briefing, a spokesperson said it was for the Sri Lankan “parliament to decide who the prime minister is”, as the political crisis in Colombo continued.

“The United States for now, we’re focused on the need for Sri Lanka to follow the necessary constitutional process to determine its leadership,” said Robert Palladino, deputy spokesperson for the state department on Wednesday.

“So we – again, we call on the president in consultation with the speaker to reconvene parliament immediately and to allow the democratically elected representatives of the Sri Lankan people to fulfill their responsibility to affirm who will lead their government,” he continued. “And we urge all sides to uphold the law and to respect due process.”

“The Sri Lankan constitution includes provisions on changes in the government and related authorities, and the implementation of those provisions is a matter for the elected representatives of the Sri Lankan people. It’s up to the parliament to decide who the prime minister is.”

The statement follows repeated calls from the US, UK and Canada for the immediate reconveing of Sri Lanka’s parliament. Both Mahinda Rajapaksa and Ranil Wickremesinghe claim to be Sri Lanka’s prime minister, with negotiations underway to build a majority of lawmakers in parliament.