Pandemonium in parliament following JVP sit-in-protest
[TamilNet, Friday, 21 February 2003, 12:11 GMT]
Pandemonium reigned in the Sri Lankan parliament Friday as MPs from the Sinhala nationalist Janata Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) held a sit in protest holding placards and shouting slogans against the United National Front (UNF) government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. The parliamentarians were protesting against the police who dispersed their earlier demonstration Thursday.
JVP parliamentarians rushed to the well of the house, shouting slogans and holding placards against the UNF government and LTTE, after the party MP,
Mr. Wimal Weerawanse announced at the commencement of the sittings that his party is to hold a sit in protest condemning the police action in dispersing their march Thursday. The police had used tear gas and water cannons to break up the JVP march against the ceasefire agreement between the Liberation Tigers and the Sri Lanka government.
The JVP parliamentarians sat in the centre of the house and started shouting slogans, alleging that the government has betrayed the country to the LTTE by signing the ceasefire agreement.
The situation in the house took a boisterous turn when a government parliamentarian threw a book at the protesting JVP parliamentarians. Thereafter some government parliamentarians rushed to the well of the House arguing with the JVP counterparts, the sources said.
Parliamentary officials evacuated school children who were in the gallery viewing the proceedings, sources said.
As the situation was going out of control the Deputy Chairman of the Committees, Mr. Sri Andhrahenedi, who was presiding promptly adjourned the house. Parliament resumed sittings after about 30 minutes, around 11 in the morning.