Sri Lanka's parliament suspended due to uproar
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 26 November 2002, 12:13 GMT]
Pandemonium reigned in Sri Lanka's parliament Tuesday morning when opposition members created a commotion in the well of the House forcing the Chair to suspend its sittings indefinitely following the refusal by the government to put the budgetary allocation of the Ministry of Justice, Judiciary and National Integration to vote at the conclusion of the committee stage debate.
The Marxist Sinhala hardliner Janata Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) parliamentarian Mr.Nandana Gunatilake told the Deputy Chairman of Committee Mr.Sri Andhrehetti who was in chair that the budgetary allocation of the Ministry of Justice, Judiciary and National Integration should be put to vote as his party wanted to show its opposition to the setting up of Tamil Eelam courts and police stations in the country.
The Minister for Justice, Judiciary and National Integration Mr.W.J.M.Lokkubandara replied that it was contradictory to ask for division on the budgetary allocation against a decision arrived at the leaders of political parties represented in parliament.
Minister Mr.Lokkubandara reminded the opposition that the decision arrived at the party leaders was not to put the budgetary allocation to vote.
However, another JVP parliamentarian Mr.Wimal Weerawanse pointed out it was also agreed at the party leaders' meeting to inform before twenty-four hours if the vote was essential.
Mr.Wimal Weerawanse said his party (JVP) has decided to vote against the budgetary allocation in protest against the setting up of Tamil Eelam Law courts in the northeast by the LTTE. "If we voted for the budgetary allocation of the Ministry of Justice, Judiciary and National Integration it would be tantamount to accept the Tamil Eelam courts and police stations in the country," said Mr.Wimal Weerawanse.
Thereafter JVP and Peopleís Alliance parliamentarians started shouting slogans against the UNF government that it was giving into all demands of the LTTE paving way for the separation of the country. When the government parliamentarians started shouting pandemonium prevailed.
The Deputy Chairman of Committee Mr.Sri Andhrehetti who was in the chair suspended the parliamentary sittings indefinitely when his attempt to bring the situation under control failed.