Send succor to Jaffna troops - Ranil
[TamilNet, Friday, 12 May 2000, 14:27 GMT]
Addressing the Sri Lankan Parliament today on the war crisis in northern Sri Lanka, opposition leader Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe said that the government should guarantee the life and property of the civilians in Jaffna. The opposition leader urged the Sri Lankan government to send food and medicine urgently required by the beleaguered troops in Jaffna.
Mr. Wickrmesinghe said that ethnic harmony is important at this juncture as the world is watching Sri Lanka. He said there are about five hundred thousand people in the northern peninsula. He cautioned that actions by the army should not give rise to acrimony between the ethnic communities in the island.
He drew the attention of the house to the fact that rural youth in the army are being sent to village hospitals when they are wounded in the northern front and that they are getting very poor medical treatment these hospitals.
The leader of the United National Party made this special address in the Parliament as all statements to the press, interviews and speeches are drastically and indiscriminately censored by the competent authority appointed by the Sri Lankan government under the draconian regulations of the Public Security Ordinance promulgated last week.
The regulations, however, do not prohibit the publication of statements made in the Parliament during its proceedings.
A point was raised by an opposition MP when the Parliament met on May 9 whether proceedings of the house would also come under the purview of the censor.
Mr. Anil Moonesinghe, the Deputy Speaker who was in the chair that day, said that in his experience only the Parliament had the right to decide on what should be expunged or not from its proceedings.
Mr. Wickremesinghe then suggested that the house should expunge from the Hansard matters which the Deputy Minister for Defence felt were sensitive to national security.
It was thereupon decided to appoint a committee to look into such matters concerning national security and to recommend their deletion.