Pandemonium in parliament
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 09 July 2002, 13:29 GMT]
The Speaker suspend the sittings of the Sri Lanka's parliament Tuesday morning when parliamentarians of the main opposition People's Alliance (PA) and the Marxist Janata Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) created an uproar by shouting slogans and carrying placards blaming the government for not issuing a statement regarding to the security situation in the Eastern province. At one state opposition MPs rushed forward and tried to seize the mace, but were thwarted by others.
The leader of the opposition, Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse, made a statement when the parliament commenced its sitting Tuesday morning regarding the incidents that took place in the eastern province during the latter part of June.
"Neither the government nor the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission in Colombo has been successful in controlling the unfortunate incidents that took place in the eastern province," said Mr.Mahinda Rajapakse.
He said "under the People's Alliance regime such serious incidents did not take place. The government should take immediate steps to ensure no such incidents take place in future."
At that stage JVP parliamentarian Mr.Wimal Weerawanse wanted the government to reply to the opposition leader's statement.
The Speaker intervened and said that the opposition leader had not requested a reply from the government. Thereafter members of the PA and JVP shouted and carried placards inside the parliament. When a group of opposition parliamentarians rushed to the well of the House and tried to remove the mace the Speaker suspended the sitting for five minutes. Some parliamentarians thwarted the attempt to remove the mace of the Speaker.
When the sitting resumed, Defence Minister Tilak Marapane said that government would make a statement shortly regarding situation in the Eastern province. "The government is in the process of conducting talks with the relevant sources regarding this issue," the minister said.