Ranil Wickremesinghe, the leader of the opposition United National Party (UNP), announced on Monday, December 10, that a mass protest planned in Colombo will be postponed until Monday, December 17. According to Wickremesinghe, the Supreme Court is expected to issue a ruling in the coming days on the legality of President Maithripala Sirisena’s decision to dissolve Parliament and dismiss Wickremesinghe as prime minister. The rally is scheduled to begin at 13:00 (local time) in the Galle Face area. Heightened security measures, crowded conditions, and localized traffic disruptions are anticipated in the capital during the demonstration. Clashes between demonstrators and security forces cannot be ruled out, though so far protests have been peaceful.
The current political crisis in Sri Lanka prompted by the dismissal of Prime Minister Wickremesinghe and his cabinet after President Sirisena's Sri Lanka Freedom Party left the majority coalition on October 26. The move, viewed by the opposition as unconstitutional, led to the suspension, and later dissolution on November 9, of the parliament. President Sirisena had appointed former President Mahinda Rajapaksa as interim prime minister, a move that Wickremesinghe, and later the Supreme Court, declared illegal.
The government has since lost multiple votes of no confidence carried out by the parliament but refuses to resign. Parliament sessions are repeatedly adjourned.
Individuals in Sri Lanka, particularly Colombo, are advised to keep abreast of the domestic political climate, adhere to instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments, refrain from discussing political subjects in public, and avoid all protests due to the risk of violence.
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