President George W. Bush on Wednesday praised Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghes “leadership,” a day after President Chandrika Kumaratunga exploited the premiers absence to ignite a constitutional crisis.
Fresh from the endorsement delivered at Oval Office talks, Wickremesinghe promised to sort out the turmoil unleashed when Kumaratunga sacked three ministers, suspended parliament and sent troops to guard key installations. rn
rn”This is not the first crisis I have had,” he told reporters in the fir-shaded calm of the White House grounds. rn
rn”When I go back, Ill sort it out. We have a majority in parliament. I have a mandate to bring peace to the country.” rn
rnWickremesinghe said Bush asked him about developments in Sri Lanka. rn
rn”Things were quite all right when I left,” Wickremesinghe said when asked what exactly he told Bush. rn
rnThe White House said Bush “expressed his strong support for the prime ministers leadership and his commitment to peace,” apparently referring