PM's statement to reveal new strategy for ER extension

[TamilNet, Thursday, 05 July 2001, 11:03 GMT]
The Government announced Thursday that the Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake will issue a special statement in the parliament tomorrow morning about the extension of State of Emergency in the country, amidst speculation in Colombo political circles that Attorney General Department is very busy in drafting alternate legislation instead of Emergency Regulations (ER), to give more teeth to the existing Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) to deal with Liberation Tigers.

The government argues that," PTA has no provisions to declare an organization a terrorist outfit."

Earlier the Secretary General of Parliament Mr. Dhammika Kitulgoda said, "the motion on extending the State of Emergency will not take in parliament on Friday as scheduled."

The special statement by the Prime Minister is believed to be relevant to the decision taken by the government not to conduct the emergency debate tomorrow, quoted state run Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation in its noon news bulletin.

The State of Emergency ceases to be in force with effect from July 19.

Political sources speculate that "the government will not extend the State of Emergency once the PTA is amended enabling the ban on the LTTE to continue."

Political sources said, "The government has decided to postpone the debate on extending the Emergency debate to avoid losing the vote on it as the government has lost its majority in parliament."

Meanwhile, leaders of parliamentary political parties are scheduled to meet Speaker Mr.Anura Bandaranaike to finalize the dates for no-confidence debate in parliament.

The government said that it agreed to a four-day debate in the first week of August. But the main opposition UNP insists that the debate should be held during the third week of this month. The Speaker is expected to play an important to bring a consensus among all parties.


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