Furore in House over London protests

Friday, 3 December 2010 00:42 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Govt. to take legal action against politicians participating in demonstrations

Parliament had to temporarily suspend its sessions yesterday for about an hour after a tensed situation erupted following an attempt by governing party members to assault a main opposition United National Party (UNP) legislator.

Building relations
British Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee head MP Richard Ottaway, accompanied by Committee Member MP Ann Clwyd called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday in London. External Affairs Minister Prof G. L. Peiris, Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga and High Commissioner Nihal Jayasinghe were also present.

The governing party MPs had attempted to manhandle UNP MP Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena, for allegedly leading the protest against President Mahinda Rajapaksa in the UK.

The opposition legislator is alleged to have instigated pro-LTTE protests in London that led to the Oxford Union canceling President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s speech scheduled for yesterday.

The furore resulted in Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa having to suspend sittings for 10 minutes.

The government meanwhile has said it would present a resolution to remove Jayawardena from the parliament.

Chief Government Whip, Minister Dinesh Gunawardena has been quoted as saying that government will present a resolution to remove Dr. Jayawardena from the parliament. In addition the Director General of the Media Centre for National Security (MCNS), Lakshman Hulugalle told a press conference that the government would even take legal action against opposition legislators who took part in international conspiracies against the country.

Hulugalle said that Sinhala opposition MPs were trying to revamp the Tamil Diaspora to campaign for separatism and that the Ministry of Defence was keeping a watchful eye on them.

He noted that once evidence to prove such allegations against those persons was received, the government would take necessary legal action against them.

According to Hulugalle, certain statements made by opposition MPs during foreign visits have instigated the pro-LTTE Diaspora.  (www.colombopage.com) 

British Government statement on Oxford Union Event

Following a number of enquiries today, the British High Commission would like to make clear certain matters relating to the cancelled event at the Oxford Union.

The planned event was a private one organised by the Oxford Union and the Sri Lankan High Commission in London.

The UK government had no involvement in the planning of this meeting, or the decision to cancel it.

Public order and security considerations were a matter for the Oxford Union and the Police.