(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) – Ports and Shipping Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said that most foreign embassies had based their statements on the present situation by referring to the English text of the Constitution which is grossly misinterpreted.
He noted that most statements had ‘hoped that the incidents unfolding in the country were legal and constitutional’. “No one said we did something wrong,” he said.
The Minister also said that they have requested the foreign missions which issued travel advisories to revoke it considering the current situation. “In 2001 when a government was sworn it, nearly 61 individuals were injured in various incidents related to the transition of the new government,” said Minister Samarasinghe. “In this instance only one person was killed and two others were injured. We ask these missions to reconsider the situation and revoke their travel advisories.”
The Speaker over the weekend called for a meeting with the party leaders on the current political climate.
He had reportedly referred to the meeting as being informal and an opportunity for party leaders to explain their rationale behind the new appointment. “The meeting lasted no more than 15 minutes during which we thanked the Speaker for giving us the opportunity to speak. We showed him that the President has the right to convene or prorogue Parliament on his own accord, which the Speaker accepted.”
The Speaker had cited that a document containing the signatures of 126 MPs calling to convene Parliament had been received by his office. “He said that he has written to the President and has requested his opinion on the matter.”
“The Parliament was not supposed to sit until November 5 anyway,” said Minister Samarasinghe. “The President has merely prorogued it for eight days, which is not very long. When Parliament meets on 16th, it will be a mere ceremonial sitting and not an opportunity for anyone to contest legality of this appointment.”
According to Minister Samarasinghe, the Speaker spent the rest of the meeting allotting time for the other party leaders to meet with him personally. “We showed him that we acted in accordance with the law which was followed up by the issuance of the two gazette notifications making both actions, the revocation of the Prime Minister’s post and the appointment of a new Prime Minister legally binding.”