2ND LEAD (added details)

Tamil MPs protest in parliament against killings in NorthEast

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 17 January 2006, 07:56 GMT]
Pandemonium prevailed in the Sri Lankan parliament Tuesday when it met for the first time in the new year 2006 following the protest held by parliamentarians of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC), Upcountry Peoples' Front (UPF) and Western Province Peoples' Front (WPPF) against the killing of parliamentarian Mr. Joseph Pararajasingham, rape and murder of a girl, Tharshini, in Pungudutivu, killing of five Tamil students in Trincomalee and several Tamil civilians by the Sri Lankan armed forces and the paramilitary groups and the arbitrary arrests of Tamil civilians in Colombo, parliamentary sources said.

TNA Parliamentary Group leader R.Sampanthan said that Tamils could not continue to ignore the worsening attacks and harassment by Sri Lankan forces on Tamil civilians in the north and east as well as in Colombo.

He said Sri Lankan Government pledges to investigate killings of former parliamentarian Chandra Nehru and Sivaram, a Senior Editor of TamilNet, had come to no concrete end and the killers not apprehended.

"Government forces are getting increasing aggressive against Tamil civilians intimidating of harassing them. This must be stopped," Mr.Sampanthan said.

He added that many were now leaving their homes and fleeing to LTTE controlled areas or to secure locations such as schools and churches and some were even going to India. The end result was more Tamils becoming refugees, he said.

When the sittings of parliament began around 9:30 a.m., Tamil parliamentarians blocked the way through which the Speaker to reach his chair to preside over the session.

However the Speaker Mr.W.M.J.Lokkubandara walked through the government benches and reached his chair. But the Tamil MPs did not allow the Sergeant-at-Arms to take the mace to Speaker's table, sources said.

Tamil parliamentarians ran into the well of the House shouting slogans demanding the government to stop killing of Tamil civilians in the northeast and indiscriminate arrest of Tamil civilians including Colombo. Some members from the government side retaliated by shouting at the protesting Tamil parliamentarians.

Their protests were met with silent from the usually vociferous JVP and JHU members in the House.

Speaker adjourned the parliament for about ten minutes, as he was unable to put the house in order.

When the session resumed around 10.10 a.m. again Tamil parliamentarians continued their protest until the Speaker adjourned the parliament for next day Wednesday.


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