Sri Lankan leader dissolves Parliament, calls August surveys

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AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena

A Sri Lankan man strolls on a rail track as others await train at a train station on the coastal line in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Thursday, June 11, 2015. The Colombo Port is seen behind.

Friday, June 26, 2015|11:24 p.m.

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka– Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena dissolved Parliament devoted to his predecessor and called fresh elections in August in an attempt to consolidate power and carry out his guarantee of reforms.

Sirisena released the notice midnight Friday announcing the election for the 225-member Parliament for Aug. 17.

Sirisena won the January presidential election versus Mahinda Rajapaksa on a promise of full-scale political reforms, however has dealt with resistance from lawmakers in implementing his program. It consists of reducing powers of the presidency and changes to the electoral system.

Majority of the legislators of the dissolved parliament belonged to the United People’s Liberty Alliance, which Rajapaksa led till his loss.

Sirisena is also eager to protect cooperation of a brand-new parliament ahead of an internal examination into war criminal activities allegations in the final stages of the country’s civil war.

In March, Sirisena protected postponement of a United Nations report on the supposed atrocities by guaranteeing a domestic investigation. The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights is anticipated to launch the report in September.

Calling an election ahead of the report is also a noticeable bid to reject Rajapaksa an opportunity to come back to power by stimulating nationalism.

Rajapaksa is still popular with the nation’s bulk Sinhalese, who oppose international participation in Sri Lanka. He is likewise considered a war hero among Sinhalese for ending a three-decade civil war in 2009.

The problem ended after government soldiers squashed the separatist Tamil Tiger rebels, who defended a separate state for the ethnic minority Tamils.

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