The US has called on Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena to reconvene parliament and allow the democratically elected representatives to determine the leadership of their government to end the political crisis sparked by the sudden sacking of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. Sirisena on Friday sacked Wickremesinghe and appointed former strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa in his place, triggering political chaos in the Indian Ocean island nation. Next day, he suspended Parliament after Wickremesinghe, who had termed his sacking as illegal and unconstitutional, sought an emergency session to prove his majority. "We call on the president of Sri Lanka to reconvene his parliament and to allow the democratically elected representatives of the Sri Lankan people to fulfill their responsibility in accordance with Sri Lankan law and due process to determine the leadership of their government," State Department Deputy Spokesperson Robert Palladino told reporters on Tuesday.
The US, he said, believes "the determination" who is the legitimate prime minister, should be made in accordance with the Sri Lankan law and due process. "We are following developments in Sri Lanka with concern, and urge all sides to respect due process," he added. The US also expects the Government of Sri Lanka to uphold its commitment to human rights, rule of law, reform, accountability, justice and reconciliation regardless of who occupies that leadership position, he said. Paladino refused to entertain questions related to the reported allegations that China was behind the political uncertainty in the country. "I don't have anything specific for you on that today," he said.