SL Parliament begins debate on ER amid chaos

[TamilNet, Thursday, 18 August 2005, 05:51 GMT]
SL Deputy Minister of Defense, Mr. Ratnasiri Wickremanayake, in his opening speech in Sri Lankan Parliament on the special debate on Emergency Regulations on Thursday declared that "the alternate way" would be considered, if failing to find solution to any problem through negotiations with his government. Following his opening remarks, Mr. M.K. Eelavenathan, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian, followed with his comments. TNA MP's speech was disturbed by Mr. Mervyn Silva, Deputy Minister, and Mr. Wimal Weeravanse, JVP's parliamentary group leader. Pandemonium prevailed for about fifteen minutes in the Lankan parliament.

Sri Lanka's parliament began Thursday morning its special session to debate the State of Emergency declared by SL President Ms Chandrika Kumaratunga Saturday morning following the killing of Mr.Lakshman Kadirgamar on Friday midnight.

Mr. Eelaventhan following Mr. Ratnasiri Wickremanayake's speech said: "we Tamil people for the past over fifty years held negotiations with the successive Sinhala governments in power to find solution to their problems. The Tamil liberation struggle started when the Sinhala government failed to implement pacts and agreements entered into it by the Tamil political leadership to solve the Tamil nation question. Even now, we are prepared to find a just and fair political solution to the Tamil national question. But the Sinhala political parties are not sincere in their attempts to solve this problem through peaceful means. That is why the current peace process has been stalled. The LTTE has clearly stated their position that they are for political solution through talks. Only the government is dragging its feet on this issue Tamil people are prepared to recommence liberation struggle if the Sri Lankan government ignores the legitimate rights and aspirations of the Tamil speaking people."

At this stage, Mr. Mervyn Silva, Deputy Minister and Mr. Wimal Weeravanse, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) parliamentary group leader rushed to the seat of Mr.Eelaventhan, shouting at him. TNA parliamentarians Messrs N.Raviraj, S.Gajendran and Mr.K.Sivanesan got up from their seats shouting at Mr.Mervyn Silva and Mr.Wimal Weeravanse, sources said.

Mr. Mavai Senathirajah, TNA parliamentarian tried to pacify his MPs from creating further disturbances.

Mr. W.M.J. Lokkubandara, Speaker warned that he would be forced to name parliamentarians out of the house if they fail to obey his order to maintain the decorum of the House, parliamentary sources said.

After about fifteen minutes the debate continued without any disturbance from wither side, sources said.

Minister Maithiripala Sirisena, and Mr. Wimal Weeravanse also spoke.

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