Muzzling Parliamentary Speech will further estrangement- Premachandran

[TamilNet, Thursday, 02 December 2004, 12:18 GMT]
''Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MPs participate in the Parliamentary procedures only because of their desire to promote amity between the two polarized peoples in Sri Lanka. But if the ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) and the opposition United National Party (UNP) members join forces to restrain free speech then it will be another step towards encouraging division of Sri Lanka,'' said Suresh Premachandran responding to attempts to curb privileges of TNA MPs in Sri Lanka's Parliament Wednesday, parliamentary sources in Colombo said.

suresh_premachandran.jpgJathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) M.P, Athureliya Ratna Thero brought to the notice of the Speaker that the speech made by TNA Parliamentary leader R. Sampanthan in the House last Tuesday was in violation of Standing Order No. 154. The Bikkhu M.P. demanded that MPs take an oath swearing allegiance to the Constitution forbidding the promotion of a separate State.

Speaker, W.J.M. Loku Bandara assured the House that that section of Mr. Sampanthan's speech that is contrary to the Constitution would be expunged from the Hansard.

Chief Govt. Whip and Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle who intervened stressed that Standing Orders should be amended in conformity with the Constitution to prevent MPs from speaking in support of separation and self-rule.

Responding to this, Chief Opposition Whip and Kalutara District MP, Mahinda Samarasinghe, stated that the Constitution being the main law of the land, has no room for speeches in the House in contravention of the Constitution and supported Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle's suggestion that Standing Orders should be accordingly amended.

It was then that TNA Parliamentarian Suresh Premachchandran rose to pronounce that TNA MPs participate in Parliament in their desire to re-unite the two polarized nations but that if both the Govt. and the Opposition joined forces to amend the Standing Orders to shut their mouths, that will constitute a major step to facilitate division of the country.

When this debate took place Mr. Sampanthan was not in Parliament. Only two TNA MPs, Suresh Premachchandran and Selvam Adaikkalanathan were present.

In his speech last Tuesday Sampanthan had drawn attention to LTTE Leader's Heroes' Day speech in which Mr Pirapaharan asserted that Tamil people would be left with no option but to continue their campaign to establish a separate State unless regional self-rule power was established in the NorthEast.

 

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