What Happened: Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has signed an order to dissolve the country's 225-member parliament by midnight, NDTV reported Nov. 9. Sirisena's decision comes amid a burgeoning political crisis that he triggered on Oct. 26 when he abruptly replaced Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe with former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Why It Matters: Sri Lanka’s geopolitical significance stems from its role as a key shipping hub in the Indian Ocean. While India and China are jockeying for influence in the country as part of their broader competition in the Indian Ocean, this political crisis will show how the two countries will react at a time when Beijing and New Delhi are attempting to ease tensions.
Background: Sirisena had suspended the parliament until Nov. 14, but his decision to dissolve it suggests that his United People’s Freedom Alliance party failed to rally the 113 legislators needed to pass a vote of confidence. The country will now head toward snap elections, likely in January 2019.