TNA MPs walk out of parliament in protest of killings, abduction

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 01 February 2006, 06:07 GMT]
If Colombo continued to allow provocative incidents take place in Sri Lanka Army (SLA) controlled areas of the NorthEast, the peace talks planned between the Government and the LTTE would be in jeopardy, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has warned the Sri Lankan Parliament Wednesday. "This is a calculated move to disturb the talks to be held in Geneva between the Government and the LTTE. We demand that the Government to act urgently in this matter and take appropriate action to save the dialogue," Mavai Senathirajah, TNA MP for Jaffna District told a press conference after walking out of the Sri Lankan Parliament.

The TNA parliamentarians walked out of the Parliament, protesting against the continuing killings, abductions and harassment of the Tamil civilians and NGO staff in the Northeast.

Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC), UP Country People‚s Front (UPFA) and the Western Province People's Front (WPF), supported the TNA in the protest.

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MPs have decided to continue protest inside and outside Parliament until the Sri Lankan Government takes urgent steps to have the abducted workers of Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO) released, said Mavai Senathirajah, Jaffna district parliamentarian in a statement in the house.

Harassment of Tamil civilians continues in the northeast despite the understanding reached between Colombo and the Liberation Tigers last week for talks on strengthening and implementing the ceasefire agreement, he added.

Government ministers answered oral questions raised by parliamentarians at the commencement of the sittings. Thereafter Mavai Senathirajah, Jaffna district parliamentarian and the General Secretary of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) made a special statement with the permission of the Speaker Mr.M.J.M.Lokkubandara.

Mr.Mavai Senathirajah said the TNA staged three day sit-in-protest campaign within the well of the House from 17 January, the first day the parliament met for the first time in the new year against the murder of a senior parliamentarian Mr.Joseph Pararajasingham inside the church in Batticaloa on the night of Christmas Day, the rape and murder of a girl Tharshini in Punguduthivu in Jaffna district and the execution- type killing of five innocent Tamil students in Trincomalee town and the continuing harassment of Tamil civilians in the hands of State armed forces.

"Our satyagraha campaign inside the parliament brought the sittings to a complete halt on January 17, 18 and 19. The parliament was adjourned till February 1. We have assembled today. We do not want to a stage a satyagraha again in the well of the House as both parties to the conflict have agreed to commence talks in Geneva on the implementation and strengthening the ceasefire agreement. Even after this, abduction, killing and harassment of Tamil civilians continue. Ten workers of the Tamil rehabilitation Organization (TRO) have been abducted. Hence we decided to stage a walk out from the parliament in protest to the continuing abduction, killing and harassment of Tamil civilians in the northeast province," said Mr.Mavai Senathirajah.

Mr.Wimal Weerawanse, parliamentary group leader of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) raised a point of order that a committee has been appointed to inquire into the allegations made by Mr.Mavai Senathirajah and there was no purpose for Mr.Senathirajah to make a statement in parliament in this regard.

The Speaker said Mr.Senathirajah was making the special statement with his permission. Hence he should be allowed to do so without interruption.

Mr.Senathirajah thereafter continued his speech.

At the end of his speech around 10 a.m., parliamentarians of the TNA present in the House walked out of the parliament, shouting that killings should stop in the NorthEast.


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