Speaker expels TNA MP from Parliament session

[TamilNet, Thursday, 10 May 2007, 06:14 GMT]
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliamentarian, a former student leader from Jaffna, S. Gajendran, was expelled from the parliament session Thursday as his recent comments in the Sri Lankan House on air raids by Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) drew strong protest from the JVP Parliamentarian, Wimal Weerawanse, who demanded the Speaker of the Parliament to invoke 6th amendment of the Sri Lankan constitution and expel Mr. Gajendran, stating that those supported the LTTE failed to honour the 6th amendment. Suresh Premachandran, a prominent TNA parliamentarian, has warned that the JVP-intiated move was a hidden motive to alienate Tamil representation in the Sri Lankan Parliament.

The SL Parilament would consult with the Sri Lankan judiciary, the Speaker said, responding to the query by the extreme Sinhala nationalist JVP parliamentarians.

TNA Jaffna MP Gajendran had stated in the Sri Lankan Parliament that the recent air raids which targeted the Sri Lankan military installations and the infrastructure were attacks carried out by Tigers in response to open war waged by the Sri Lankan military on Tamils.

JVP propaganda secretary protested to the view expressed by Gajendrakumar in Sri Lankan parliament, citing it contradicted with the Sri Lankan consitution's 6th amendment.

The ruling UPFA parliamentarians, except a few, shared JVP's view that Gajendran's comments breached the 6th amendment. Also the UNP did not object to the view subscribed by the JVP and the UPFA.

Parliament was adjourned around 11:00 a.m. and a party leaders' meeting was held.

When the session resumed Gajendran was asked to provide a clarifying explanation for his statement.

The MP then reiterated his interpretation as he had expressed them in the House on Wednesday.

Later, the Speaker of Sri Lankan Parliament, W.J.M Lokubandara, asked the MP to leave the Parlimentary sessions, but said it was upto the Sri Lankan judiciary to provide legal intrepretation on the appliance of the 6th amendment.

According to the provisions of the sixth amendment:

Article 157 A (1) No person shall, directly or indirectly, in or outside Sri Lanka, support, espouse, promote, finance, encourage or advocate the establishment of a separate state within the territory of Sri Lanka.

(2) No political party or other association or organisation shall have as one of its aims or objects the establishment of a separate state within the territory of Sri Lanka.”

(3) Any person who acts in contravention of the provisions of paragraph (1) shall, on conviction by the Court of Appeal, after trial on indictment and according to such procedure as may be prescribed by law,—

(a) be subject to civic disability for such period not exceeding seven years as may be determined by such Court;

(b) forfeit his movable and immovable property other than such property as is determined try an order of such Court as being necessary for the sustenance of such person and his family ;

(c) not be entitled to civic rights for such period not exceeding seven years as may be determined by such Court, and

(d) if he is a Member of Parliament or a person in such service or holding such office as is referred to in paragraph (1) of Article 165, cease to be such Member or to be in such service or to hold such office

Under this law - 157 A (4) - any person may make an application to the Supreme Court for a declaration against an organisation espousing the cause of establishing a separate state in the island. Upon such declaration by the SC that the organisation has violated Article 157 A (2), then that organisation “shall be deemed, for all purposes to be proscribed”. Any member of such an organisation shall cease to be a member of Parliament. Any person who is a member of such an organisation after the date of the SC declaration “shall be guilty of an offence and shall, upon conviction by the Court of Appeal” would be stripped of his or her civic rights for a period not exceeding seven years; and his or her movable and immovable property would be seized.

The Sixth Amendment was introduced on the heels of the 1983 July anti Tamil pogrom in which thousands of Tamils were killed and maimed by state backed Sinhala mobs in Colombo and the Sinhala majority districts of the island.

The Amendment saw the Tamil United Liberation Front giving up its seats in Parliament and going into exile in India. The Tamil Front was elected to Parliament in 1977 with an ovewhelming mandate from the Tamils of island's northeast for establishing a separate state for the Tamils.

In 2001, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), comprising the then Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF), the All Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC), the Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization (TELO) and the Eelam People's Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF) was formed.

The TNA election manifesto in 2001 called for the immediate cessation of the war waged in the northeast and immediate commencement of the process of negotiations with the LTTE with international third party involvement. The mandate called for lifting the ban on the LTTE.

In the next general elections, held in 2004, the TNA parliamentarians were elected to Sri Lankan Parliament with an overwhelming mandate for an Interim Self Governing Authority (ISGA), a proposal put foward by the Tigers, and for a final negotiated solution with the LTTE as the authentic representatives of Tamil people in the talks with the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL).

A former parliamentarian of the TNA, A Chandra Nehru, and two parliamentarians Joseph Pararajasingham and Nadarajah Raviraj have been killed since February 2005.


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12.11.01   'Colombo lacks consistency, commitment'- TNA manifesto
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