Island nation Sri Lanka plunged into a political crisis after President Sirisena sacked Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and brought in former strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa in his place in a dramatic turn of events last week. Palitha Range Bandara, a United National Party lawmaker, has said that he was offered millions of dollars and a minister portfolio if he crossed over.
Speaking on the phone, the President briefed the UN Secretary General on Thursday, on the Constitutional provisions and parliamentary standing orders that enabled the Head of State to appoint a new Prime Minister and prorogue Parliament.
Severely criticizing the policies of the Wickremesinghe government, the President said the ones who took decisions regarding the country in the recent past were not the President or the Prime Minister, but a "gang of butterflies" who were around Ranil Wickremesinghe.
"We have united to work for the people", Rajapaksa said, referring to their previous rivalry when Sirisena defeated him for the presidency in 2015.
Sirisena also suspended Parliament until November 16.
The move on October 26 + triggered an unprecedented constitutional crisis, plunging the island into political turmoil.
The unity government was formed in 2015 when Sirisena was elected President with Wickremesinghe's support, ending a almost decade-long rule by Rajapaksa.
Former Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne, Cabinet, State, and Deputy Ministers, Parliamentarians, Provincial Council members, and members of Local Government bodies of the United People's Freedom Alliance, religious representatives, civil society organisations and Trade Union members joined the rally.
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Until a group "demonstrates a majority in parliament I re-iterate that I am compelled to recognize the situation that prevailed earlier", Jayasuriya said in a statement issued in Sinhalese.
Parliament Speaker Karu Jayasuriya has come under pressure from a majority of legislators to reconvene parliament.
Rajapaksa's party dismissed the allegation.
Wickremesinghe said in an interview with the AP that there is credible evidence that Rajapaksa's party is attempting to buy support in Parliament.
He is seen as a hero by many among Sri Lanka's Buddhist majority but has been accused by diplomats of serious human rights abuses in the war against rebels from the Tamil minority, which ended during his tenure as president, in 2009.
Wickremesinghe claimed that the move was illegal as he still enjoyed a majority in the nation's 225-member parliament.
As you are aware there was a conspiracy to kill the elected President of Sri Lanka and the investigations are being conducted by the Criminal Investigation Division of the Sri Lanka Police.
Since Monday, Sirisena has handed out 14 cabinet posts, including five to lawmakers who defected from Wickremesinghe's coalition.