Emergency extended in Sri Lanka by another month
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 09 March 2010, 10:56 GMT]
The State of Emergency was extended by another month by the Sri Lanka’s parliament Tuesday. Ninety three parliamentarians of the ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) and its constituent parties voted for the extension and twenty parliamentarians from the main opposition United National Party (UNP), Tamil National Alliance
(TNA) and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) voted against. The dissolved parliament was summoned by Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapakse to ratify his gazette notification issued last week to extend the emergency. According to the Constitution, the gazette notification should be ratified within ten days.
Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake moved the motion seeking the approval of the parliament to extend the State of Emergency which came into force on August 12, 2005, and being extended by the parliament every month since then.
JVP parliamentarian Sunil Handunnetti, during the debate, questioned the government why several military installations have been gazetted as detention centres recently. The eight new detention centres include the Army Headquarters, Navy Headquarters in Colombo, the Saliyapura army camp and the Panagoda camp.
"What is the need for new detention centres in the south when the war against LTTE is over?" Handunetti asked.
JVP parliamentarian asked whether detention centres are needed to detain the opposition politicians and trade unionists in the country.
The emergency is being used to protect government sponsored thugs and not democratic rights, he added.
Meanwhile, Democratic Peoples Front (DPF) Leader Mano Ganeshan held a protest in the parliament premises while the debate of emergency extension was in progress, against election violence after his campaign bus was attacked by thugs in Nawalapitiya over the weekend.