Sri Lanka's new Prime Minister, Mahinda Rajapaksa, and 44 former politicians have defected from the party led by President Maithripala Sirisena, splitting with the president barely two weeks after he installed Mr Rajapaksa in office.
Following the sacking, the president suspended parliament in a move which Wickremesinghe said was meant to prevent the ousted prime minister from contesting the decision in the legislature. On November 2, the president lifted the suspension of Parliament and said Parliament would reconvene on November 14. "I acted to prevent civil unrest".
"As a friend of Sri Lanka, the United Kingdom calls on all parties to uphold the constitution and respect democratic institutions and processes", Field said.
However, a rift developed over policy towards China and India - Wickremesinghe has favored Indian investment as a counter to Chinese inroads in Sri Lankan infrastructure projects - and over Sirisena's intention to contest the 2020 presidential election under Wickremesinghe's party.
Sirisena dissolved Parliament after his attempts to secure the backing of 113 members in the 225-member Parliament failed.
Wickremesinghe said his sacking was unconstitutional and still occupies the official residence.
"He gave illegal orders in defiance of the president", Gunawardena said referring to Jayasuriya's assertion that parliament must hold a floor test to prove the legality of the appointment of Rajapaksa as prime minister replacing Wickremesinghe. Sirisena opened a new session of parliament urging coalition partners to end a power struggle with him and work towards economic and political reforms.
"It appeared to me that, if I allowed the Parliament to be convened on the 14th, without dissolving it, it could have brought about commotion and fights in every city and every village would lead to very unpleasant and hard situation for the average citizens of my beloved country", he said.
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"This dissolution by the President is illegal and goes against the constitution", the UNP said on Twitter.
Meanwhile, Rajapaksa claimed that fresh elections "will truly establish the will of the people and make way for a stable country", PTI reported.
In an address to the nation, Sirisena outlined the reasons for dissolving parliament nearly two years ahead of schedule.
"We fear that recent actions, if not corrected, will threaten your country's democratic development and derail the progress made in recent years", the three lawmakers said in a letter, a copy of which was obtained by the Associated Press.
The United National Party, the northern-based Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the Marxist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) will challenge the dissolution, what Samaraweera termed as "tyranny" and "hitting the constitution in its teeth".
Rajapakse and the ousted Wickremesinghe have been battling for power for two weeks as worldwide concern grew over the mounting turmoil in the strategically important island nation.
The leftist People's Liberation Front (JVP), which regards the sacking of Wickremesinghe as unconstitutional, accused Sirisena of trying to consolidate his power grab.