Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has ordered the suspended parliament to reconvene on November 14, clearing the way for a vote on his decision to sack the elected prime minister and replace him with wartime nationalist Mahinda Rajapaksa.
So far, six members from Wickremesinghe's United National Front have defected to Rajapaksa's government. "We are expecting a few more defections on Saturday", a source close to President Sirisena said.
Mr Wickremesinghe said his party will step up a public campaign for Parliament to be called and he be allowed to prove his majority. The session has been set for Wednesday, the speaker of parliament has said. Such authority that vested in the President previously was specifically repealed by the 19th Amendment to the Constitution.
Wickremesinghe's United National Party (UNP) risks losing legislators to Rajapakse's camp as the days drag by.
A police informant, Namal Kumara, who first spoke of the alleged plot, told reporters that Wickremesinghe and his Cabinet colleague, former army commander Sarath Fonseka, were behind it. Kumara claims he has a taped conversation with a senior police officer who allegedly discussed assassinating Sirisena and the former defence secretary, Rajapaksa's brother.
Huge amounts are reportedly being offered to defectors.
"Rajapaksa is known only for two things, the brutal quelling of the Tamil insurgency and outright support to China in a manner that goes against the interest of the country and negates its historic relationship with India", remarked Colonel Jaibans Singh (retired), a strategic affairs expert and Indian Army veteran.
Negotiated during the tenure of Rajapaksa as President, the repayments for the port are said to have pushed Sri Lanka into a debt-trap.
A pro-democracy movement urged MPs not to sell their votes and undermine the will of the people.
He said that the President met the Colombo based diplomats earlier, to apprise them of the unfolding political situation in the country. His United National Party submitted a motion to that effect to parliament but Sirisena suspended its session until November 16, citing a need for Rajapaksa to make arrangements for the new government prevented the vote.
The announcement was made by Parliament spokesman Karu Jayasuriya when he addressed a special meeting of party leaders.
Wickremesinghe survived a no-confidence motion in Parliament in April brought by Rajapaksa supporters over allegations involving his appointment of a Singaporean as the central bank governor, who is now accused of leaking inside information to benefit his son-in-law in a treasury bond sale.
Rights groups as well as Western nations have urged Sirisena to summon parliament to end the crisis.