2ND LEAD

Rajapaksa prorogues SL Parliament

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 06 May 2008, 17:31 GMT]
Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapaksa has moved on to prorogue the sittings of the Sri Lankan Parliament until June 05 according to an extra-ordinary gazette notification published Tuesday midnight. The move comes amid the increased media attention and the debate on SLA casualties in the Northern Front as four days were left for the Eastern provincial elections where oppositions parties including the SLMC, UNP and the JVP have protested against the armed paramilitary in the East. Meanwhile, in a specially arranged televised broadcast, Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa, promised the remote villagers in the east that they would get everything that they have aspired for.

Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa in his televised address to the country Tuesday evening, showcased that the 'liberation of the east' was beneficial to the people in the East. The state-owned television Rupavahini had sent its crew to Vaakaarai in Batticaloa, K'i'n'niyaa in Trincomalee and other remote areas to provide video footage where people were shown as thanking Sri Lankan president for their 'liberation'. In an arranged satellite coverage, the television showcased people in the remote villages as having placed their hopes on Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Analysts opined that the Sri Lankan president would project a UPFA-victory in the East as a verdict for the de-merger of the North and East.

Therefore, questions being raised in the House during the elections and after the elections in East, could be detrimental to the ruling UPFA and could have a direct impact in the elections, analysts say.

In the meantime, the Sri Lankan government had to face several questions on the military debacle in the Northern Front and the media attention increasingly centered on SLA casualties, despite Colombo's attempt to censor military news.

The issue of disarming the paramilitary Pillayan Group which exerts pressure on the Tamil people to vote for the ruling UPFA has become a hot issue. The UNP staged a protest in Colombo Tuesday calling for disarming the paramilitary. The issue was also expected to be taken up in the Sri Lankan parliament by the opposition parties, prior to the EPC elections.

The paramilitary-cum-political party has threatened the candidates of the opposition parties, alternative and independent groups against their campaigning among the Tamils.

 

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