2nd lead

Parliament meets Tuesday, one SLMC MP crosses over to govt. bench

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 18 May 2004, 05:41 GMT]
The second sitting of the first session of the thirteenth parliament of Sri Lanka commenced Tuesday morning around 10 a.m. amid confusion and tension following the cross over of Mr. Hussain Baila, a National List parliamentarian of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), to the government and the alleged abduction of a monk parliamentarian of the Jathika Hela Urumaya Monday night by an unidentified group, parliamentary sources said.

The abducted monk has been identified as Venerable Ratnagatha Ratnaseeha Thera, one of the two JHU parliamentarians who voted for the Speakerís nominee of the ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) in the speakerís election held on April 22nd, parliamentary sources said.

At the start of the sitting, four parliamentarians, three from the ruling UPFA and one from the Tamil National Alliance were sworn in before the Speaker.

The new parliamentarians are Messrs Ratnasiri Wickremanayake, a former Prime Minister, Mr.Mervyn Silva and Mr.Wijedasa Rajapakse of the UPFA and Mr.Pakkiyaselvam Ariyanenthiran of TNA.

Mr. Ariyanenthiran filled the vacancy created by the resignation of the Mr.Kingsly Rasanayakam from the Batticaloa electoral district.

UPFA parliamentarians Messrs Ratnasiri Wickremanayake, Mr. Mervyn Silva and Wijedasa Rajapakse filled the vacancies created by the resignations of Mr. Janadasa Peiris, V.R.Weerasekara and Ms Mary Lucida, parliamentary sources said.


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