COLOMBO, Sri Lanka – Thousands of Sri Lankans marched into the capital on Tuesday to demand that the president immediately call on parliament to resolve a worsening political crisis after his release from the prime minister.
More than 10,000 people, including legislators and marched in Colombo, shouted slogans and issued banners and posters. Then they held a rally near the official residence of dismissed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
The protest came one day after the Speaker of Parliament Karu Jayasuriya warned of a possible violence unless the deputies were summoned immediately.
President Maithripala Sirisena dismissed Wickremesinghe and his Cabinet on Friday and replaced him with former strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa. On Saturday, Sirisena suspended the parliament in an overt move to give Rajapaksa time to gather enough support to survive any vote of no confidence.
Wickremesinghe has called for the re-election of parliament, claiming that he still controls the majority of lawmakers.
Sirisena's footsteps have sparked a power struggle, and some observers say he has a
Protesters holding placards reading, "Let's defeat the dictatorship, undermine the Constitution, restore democracy, maintain the Constitution, and convene Parliament to end the crisis. "
Wickremesinghe told protesters that Sirisena used his executive power (19659004) "We are here to protect democracy in the country," he said.
Protesters condemned Sirisena's actions.
This is a very indecent and anti-democratic move by President Sirisena. We elected him to power, and we'll fight and make sure he gets home soon, "said Cyril Ranasinghe, a 59-year-old farmer.
Edward Udayadas, a researcher, said he joined the protest because he wants democracy. "This move is unconstitutional. We want justice. I'm here as a Sri Lankan citizen to protect democracy, "he said.
Two people died on Sunday and one was injured in a shooting at the Oil Ministry, the first violence linked to the political unrest.
The The United States has stated that they are "worried" about the events and urge Sirisena to reunite Parliament.
Sirisena said that he had fired Wickremesinghe mainly because of the involvement of a Cabinet Minister in an alleged plan to assassinate Sirisena. He did not disclose details of the alleged plot: Wickremesinghe has rejected the charge of Sirisena.
Sirisen's followers have been talking about an alleged conspiracy for weeks, but on Sunday Sirisena publicly spoke for the first time.
A police informant named Namal Kumara told reporters on Sunday, Wickremesinghe and a cabinet colleague, former A Commander Sarath Fonseka, was behind the alleged plot.
The police are investigating the report of a plot, but no arrests have been made.
On Monday, Fonseka said she was threatened with arrest. We are ready to go to prisons. We're not scared. We have experienced similar situations, "he said, accusing Sirisena of taking unconstitutional and undemocratic steps to advance his political career.
Rajapaksa supporters have asked Wickremesinghe to vacate his office or force evictions.
Since There has been some tensions between Sirisena and Wickremesinghe as the President did not approve of the economic reforms introduced by the Prime Minister, and Sirisena also criticized investigations by military personnel accused of human rights abuses during the long civil war in Sri Lanka that ended in 2009.