Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena's decision to dissolve parliament, worsening an already major political crisis, has drawn criticism from Western powers, including the United States and Britain.
The crisis started two weeks ago when Sirisena sacked Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe and named Rajapaksa as his successor. Later, the president said he had to fire Wickramasinghe because one of his ministers was involved in a "plot to assassinate" the head of state himself.
Later Sirisena agreed to reconvene parliament on November 14, but that will now not happen.
Wickremesinghe, who has not left his official Temple Trees residence since his sacking, maintains that the action against him was unconstitutional and illegal, and insists his group can muster a majority.
"Under the 19th Amendment, which has amended the Article 70 of the Constitution say the "(1) The President may by Proclamation, summon, prorogue and dissolve Parliament: "Provided that the President shall not dissolve Parliament until the expiration of a period of not less than four years and six months from the date appointed for its first meeting, unless Parliament requests the President to do so by a resolution passed by not less than two-thirds of the whole number of Members (including those not present), voting in its favour".
New elections are likely to be held in early January, almost two years earlier than originally planned, a government minister told the AFP news agency.
Wickremesinghe's camp is likely to contest Sirisena's move because of constitutional provisions stating a Parliament can't be dissolved until 4 1/2 years after its election.
The US Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, an agency within the State Department, stated on Twitter: "The US is deeply concerned by news the Sri Lanka Parliament will be dissolved, further deepening the political crisis".
Sirisena had come under increased worldwide pressure from the United States, the United Nations and the European Union to allow parliament to vote on which Prime Minister should form a government.
Australia's foreign minister expressed concern and said Sirisena's action "undermines Sri Lanka's long democratic tradition and poses a risk to its stability and prosperity".
Tensions had been building between Sirisena and Wickremesinghe for some time, as the president did not approve of economic reforms introduced by the prime minister.
"It is a brutal murder of democracy since Parliament's tenure ends only in August 2020", Anbumani, who is also the party's Dharmapuri Lok Sabha MP, said.
"A desperate president without a majority, now resorts to more desperate measures by illegally dissolving parliament", Samaraweera said.
"This dissolution by the President is illegal and goes against the constitution".
Sirisena's United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) admitted ahead of the president's stunning announcement that they had failed to secure enough cross-over MPs to win a confidence vote.
On Thursday, Wickremesinghe had thanked his supporters in a Facebook video for not letting Sri Lanka be "plunged into the darkness of dictatorship".
For the past few days, there was speculation that the President will dissolve the Parliament after completing appointments to the cabinet.
"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.
"Now we have a caretaker government with limited functions", Premajayantha said.