SL parliament observes one-minute silence to Tamil civilians
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 21 June 2006, 10:08 GMT]
Sri Lanka's Parliament Wednesday observed a one minute silence for those Tamil civilians killed by State armed forces and paramilitary groups working with them. Parliamentarians of all political parties including the Sinhala Nationalist Marxist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) and the all monks party Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) stood for one minute and observed silence, parliamentary sources said.
The parliament resumed its sittings Wednesday morning. After the conclusion of normal business Mr.R.Sampanthan, leader of the parliamentary group of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) moved that the House should observe one-minute silence for those Tamil civilians killed by the State armed forces and paramilitary groups working with. The Speaker Mr.W.J.M.Lokkubandara allowed the request, parliamentary sources said.
Mr.Sampanthan made the request after he made a statement on the rapidly deteriorating plight of Tamil civilian population in the North East region in the country with the permission of the Speaker.
Venerable Athureliya Ratana Thera, parliamentary group leader of the JHU objected to the wording of the request by Mr.Sampanthan accusing the State armed forces and the paramilitary groups working with them were responsible for killing Tamil civilians. Venerable Athureliya Rata Thera wanted the Speaker to delete the wording mentioning "State armed forces and its paramilitary groups" from the request.
But Mr.Sampanthan stood by his request that State armed forces and paramilitary groups were responsible for the killings of Tamil civilians.
The Speaker at that stage told JHU leader that the one-minute silence was for those Tamil civilians killed in the North East region irrespective of the identity of the perpetrators, sources said.
Thereafter parliamentarians of all political parties stood in the House and observed one-minute silence, sources said.
At the end the Speaker informed the House that no such observance of one-minute silence would be allowed in future in the parliament. He reminded the House that this practice should not become a tradition and should not be repeated anymore. He said he agreed to the request made by Mr.Sampanthan as he allowed a request by the JVP for the observance of one-minute silence previous day for those Sinhalese civilians killed in Kebbitigollawa blast, parliamentary sources said.