Fracas in Sri Lanka Parliament over jailed minister

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 08 December 2004, 13:22 GMT]
MPs exchanged blows and the Sri Lankan Parliament's Sergeant-at-Arms was manhandled Wednesday as opposition United National Party protested in the house against the arrest of former minister minister, Mr. S. B Dissanayaka.

Pandemonium reigned the House today after the commencement of sittings at 9 a.m. as a result of the sentence of 2 years' rigorous imprisonment passeed on former Minister SB Dissanayake by the Supreme Court .

It all began after UNP MP Mahinda Wijesekera rose to present a motion calling for the immediate release of Dissanayake by Presidential pardon, or else they would not allow the House to function.

Intervening, Speaker W.J. M. Loku Bandara said that in any case, 6 months will have to elapse before even a motion of this kind could be brought up. But the UNP opposition would have none of it. They shouted in unison endorsing of Wijesekra's motion. Govt. MPs in turn shouted back. Then there ensued a round of fisticuss between the two sides, forcing the Speaker to adjourn the House for 10 minutes.

Verbal duels and exchange of blows started as soon as sittings resumed 10 minutes later. And then the Mace was grabbbed by by UNP MP Dayasiri Wijesekera. The Sergeant-at -arms struggled to rescue the Mace back from the agitated M.P in the process of which the former was badly injured.

 

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