Published on : Wednesday, October 31, 2018
The Australian government said: “There is an increased likelihood of large protests and demonstrations in Sri Lanka due to political instability following the President’s dismissal of the Prime Minister on 26 October.”
Australia is an important source market for Sri Lanka tourism. It accounts for their 4.5 per cent of tourist arrivals. SriLankan Airlines directly connect Sri Lanka to Australia.
Canada too issued a travel advisory on Tuesday which said, “The president of Sri Lanka moved to dismiss the prime minister, which may lead to a period of political instability. Demonstrations could occur,”
They follow the UK and US governments which had issued travel advisories a day earlier, with largely similar wording.
The UK is Sri Lanka’s largest market after India and China. China and India’s diplomats are holding meetings with the two main political parties.
The constitutional crisis arises because President Maithripala Sirisena, from the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) sacked United National Party’s Ranil Wickremesinghe as the Prime Minister. He dissolved the cabinet and prorogued parliament while appointing SLFP’s former President Mahinda Rajapaksa as premier with a new set of ministers.
Sri Lanka Speaker of the Parliament Karu Jayasuriya had written to President Sirisena to convene parliament immediately to decide who commanded the confidence of the house. If the decision is not arrived at, there could be a risk of violence as people take to the streets.
A massive by around 25,000 people had taken place on Tuesday in the country’s capital, supporting Wickremesinghe, as well as good governance and democracy.