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Thousands of supporters of new Sri Lankan Prime Minister rally outside parliament

6 November 2018

Thousands of Sri Lankans gathered at a rally on Monday to show their backing for the new prime minister, Mahinda Rajapaksa. The rally comes as the speaker of Sri Lanka's suspended parliament said he would not accept former president Rajapaksa as the new prime minister.

The comments by Parliament Speaker Karu Jayasuriya deepen a political standoff started when President Maithripala Sirisena fired Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on October 26 and appointed Rajapaksa in his place. Wickremesinghe has denounced his dismissal as unconstitutional and vowed to remain prime minister until parliament votes him out. The president has suspended parliament, in a move Rajapaksa's opponents say is aimed at preventing lawmakers from voting to reject his return to power.