Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was sacked by the president on Friday. (File)
Two days after Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was sacked by President Maithripala Sirisena, India has responded to the development, saying “democratic values” should be respected.
Sri Lanka was plunged in a constitutional crisis after its president gave the post of the prime minister to former strongman leader Mahinda Rajapakse, who was sworn in on Friday night.
Official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs Raveesh Kumar said, “India is closely following the recent political developments in Sri Lanka. As a democracy and a close friendly neighbour, we hope that democratic values and the constitutional process will be respected.”
“We will continue to extend our developmental assistance to the friendly people of Sri Lanka,” he added.
Ousted prime minister Wickremesinghe has insisted that he had a majority in the 225-member legislature and his sacking is illegal. “I have the majority and I remain as the prime minister and I will function as the prime minister,” he said.
Mr Rajapaksa later said “the people” had requested his party take over the government and called on Mr Wickremesinghe’s supporters to respect democracy and the rule of law.
India has long seen Sri Lanka as part of its area of influence and had been concerned about Mr Rajapaksa’s wooing of China. In recent weeks, both Mr Rajapaksa and Mr Wickremesinghe visited India and met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
(With inputs from agencies)
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