UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has warned that the time is running out to avert a "bloodbath" while voicing hope that Parliament will resolve a damaging constitutional crisis in the coming days.
In an interview with the AFP, Mr.Wickremesinghe has said that "desperate people" could cause chaos.
"We will be calling on our people not to resort to violence but you don't know what arises in a situation like this. A few desperate people can start off a bloodbath,” he said on Friday.
Mr.Wickremesinghe said he hoped the showdown could be ended peacefully and expressed optimism that a solution to the crisis would soon be found.
"I feel Parliament is going to prevail finally. This can't take too long. I would say in a week to 10 days at the most," he said, adding the priority was to establish Parliament's "supremacy".
Mr.Wickremesinghe said two smaller parties - the Marxist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna and the Tamil National Alliance - were backing his call for the legislature to meet despite obstacles placed by Sirisena.
"A majority of Parliament has said all these actions (of the president) are not legitimate and not in accordance with the Constitution," he said. (Daily Mirror)