Debate on extending State of Emergency begins in SL Parliament

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 21 September 2005, 08:08 GMT]
Sri Lanka's parliament began a one day debate Wednesday morning on extending the State of Emergency in the island for another month. The Sri Lankan Government declared State of Emergency on August 13 following the killing of its Foreign Minister Mr.Lakshman Kadirgamar allegedly by a sniper. The parliament convened later to approve the declaration with the support of the ruling party, JVP, JHU, UNP, CWC and NUA, parliamentary sources said.

The debate on extending the State of Emergency for another month began in the parliament when it resumed its sitting Wednesday morning.

Mr.T.Maheswaran, United National Party (UNP) parliamentarian created a stir in the Parliament when he raised a point of order that he had not been allocated time by his party to speak in the debate. Mr.Maheswaran accused the UNP leadership for supporting the extension of the ER motion while Tamils in Colombo and other areas are being subjected to harassment by security forces using the ER, parliamentary sources said.

Mr.Mahinda Samarasinghe, UNP whip admitted to the Speaker that his party had not allocated time for Mr.Maheswaran to speak on the motion.

At one stage Mr.Wimal Weeravanse, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) parliamentary group leader offered to allocate five minutes of his party time for Mr.Maheswaran to speak on the ER. But Mr.Mahinda Samarasinghe had objected to this, sources said.

Mr.W.M.J.Lokkubandara, the Speaker ruled that the allocation of time to parliamentarians is the prerogative of the party the members belonged to. Mr.Maheswaran ran into the well of the house and tore the ER extension motion document placed in front of Mr.Ratnasiri Wickremanayake, Deputy Defense Minister. Mr. Rohitha Abeyagunawardene, ruling party parliamentarian condemned Mr.Maheswaran for his unruly behavior. It took a few minutes for Mr.Maheswaran to resume his seat, sources added.

The debate is in progress

 

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