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TNA urges Sirisena to take 'swift action', decision expected on Dec 5

Following a meeting with the Sri Lankan president, Maithripala Sirisena yesterday, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) said it had urged him to take swift action to resolve the political crisis in the country. 

The TNA spokesperson M A Sumanthiran told the Daily Mirror, "the president told us that he would like to see parliament bringing in and approving a motion calling him to appoint a new Prime Minister on December 5 when it meets again."

"President also told us that it has become clear that former President Mahinda Rajsapaka who functions as Prime Minister currently does not have a majority in Parliament especially after motions that have been approved by Parliament during the past few days."

Earlier this week the TNA's constituent ITAK party MPs signed a letter stating that they would support the restoration of a UNF headed government as it was prior to October 26.

[Read more here.]

The TNA leader R Sampanthan pointed to the legal challenges against Sirisena's decision and expressed hope for a resolution to the political turmoil. 

“There is every possibility that the outcome of the cases might overturn his [President’s] decisions. That would not be desirable, so we advised him to take well-considered decisions at the earliest, rather than hasty, ill-advised decisions,” Sampanthan told The Hindu.

“We told him that the party’s choice in nominating its prime ministerial candidate must be respected,” he added. 

Sri Lanka plunged into crisis last month after the president sacked the UNP leader as prime minister and appointed the former president, Mahinda Rajapaksa in his place before dissolving parliament. 

The decision to dissolve parliament was challenged at the Supreme Court and an interim order issued. 

The reconvening of parliament saw violent scenes as chairs, chilli powder books were thrown at the Speaker and towards police officers. One MP was seen wielding a knife inside the parliamentary complex. 

A number of the no confidence motions, taken by voice, have been passed, however MPs have called for an electronic vote on December 5.