The United States on Friday said it was “deeply concerned” by the dissolution of Sri Lankan Parliament and added that it has deepened the political crisis. “As a committed partner of Sri Lanka, we believe democratic institutions and processes need to be respected to ensure stability and prosperity,” the US Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs tweeted.
An unidentified senior US administration official told foreign reporters in a conference call on Friday that the US was “tracking the situation very closely”, PTI reported. He said the Donald Trump administration was concerned that the island nation’s external debt had increased before the political crisis began.
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena dissolved Parliament on Friday evening and called snap elections, hours after his party – the United People’s Freedom Alliance –
admitted it does not have the numbers to enable newly appointed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa to win a confidence vote in Parliament.
British Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific Mark Field tweeted that he was concerned that Sri Lanka’s Parliament had been dissolved “days before it was due to be reconvened”. “As a friend of Sri Lanka, the UK calls on all parties to uphold the constitution and respect democratic institutions and processes,” he added.
Canada’s foreign ministry also said it was alarmed by the developments. “This further political uncertainty is corrosive to Sri Lanka’s democratic future and its commitments on reconciliation and accountability,” the ministry added.
Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne said Canberra has expressed its “concern and disappointment” with Sirisena’s decision. “As a longstanding friend, we believe this action undermines Sri Lanka’s long democratic tradition and poses a risk to its stability and prosperity,” she added in a statement. “We urge respect for the country’s democratic institutions and for all parties to continue to exercise restraint.”