NEW DELHI (Sputnik) - Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has decided to convene the parliament on November 5 ahead of schedule in an attempt to end the political turmoil in the country, local media reported on Thursday.
Sri Lankan TV Channel News First reported that the president's decision was voiced by the country's recently appointed prime minister, Mahinda Rajapaksa, during an event in the president's office.
Sirisena made the decision following recent protests in the country. On Tuesday, scores of Sri Lankans took to the streets in the country's de-facto capital of Colombo, calling on the government to immediately convene the parliament in order to resolve the crisis, prompted by Sirisena's recent move to sack the country's then prime minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe.
On October 25, Sirisena appointed Rajapaksa, the sixth president of Sri Lanka who headed the country from 2005 to 2015, as prime minister, replacing Wickremesinghe in a move to form a new cabinet. Wickremesinghe called his removal from office unconstitutional, claiming that he remained the country's prime minister as his United National Party (UNP) held majority in the parliament. As Wickremesinghe called on the president to convene the parliament in order to prove the UNP majority, Sirisena suspended it until November 16.
Rajapaksa's return raised concerns in the country that China was seeking to re-establish its influence in Sri Lanka after the pro-China politician failed to become prime minister in 2015 general election.