RealNews

Sri Lanka's Leader Suspends Parliament and Deploys Troops

In a surprise move, Sri Lanka’s president suspended parliament, fired three top government ministers and deployed troops at key buildings in the capital of Colombo today, the state-run news media reported. The move sparked a political crisis in the country and fueled fears that a two-year cease-fire between government forces and ethnic Tamil rebels would collapse. Sri Lankan political analysts said President Chandrika Kumaratunga appeared to be trying to severely weaken her bitter political rival, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. President Kumaratunga has harshly criticized the prime minister for making too many concessions in peace talks with the rebel group, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. The prime minister was in Washington meeting senior American officials today and is scheduled to meet with President Bush on Wednesday. Mr. Wickremesinghe issued a statement in Washington accusing the Sri Lankan president of trying to derail the peace process. Full Story

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