SL parliament begins debate on extending State of Emergency
[TamilNet, Thursday, 05 April 2007, 09:53 GMT]
Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake Thursday morning tabled a motion seeking its approval for the extension of the State of Emergency for another month. Speaking on the motion Mr.Joseph Michael Perera, chief Whip of the main opposition United National Party (UNP) announced that his party has decided abstain from voting when the Speaker called for division, parliamentary sources said.
The State of Emergency was imposed on August 13, 2005 following the assassination of Lakshman Kadirgamar, former Foreign Minister in his residence in Colombo. Since then the emergency is being extended every month with the approval of the parliament. Till last month the UNP voted with the government when the motion was put to vote, sources said.
Mr.Wickremanayake tabling the motion said during last month 46 government troops were killed and about 202 were injured in the confrontation with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). During this period 77 civilians were also killed and about 65 were injured.
He added the government armed forces were able to capture several areas earlier in the control of the LTTE during this period.
Minister Maithiripala Sirisena replied to a question by Mr. Perera that the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) would table its political proposals to the All Party Representatives Council (APRC) on May 1st. He added that government leaders are now studying these proposals.
Mr.Wimal Weerawanse, parliament group leader of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, said that saboteurs with vested interests are working against the government armed forces in the east.
Patriotic citizens should not give room for these elements to succeed, he appealed.