Sri Lanka suspends two MPs after worst brawl in 12 years

ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka’s parliament today unanimously voted to suspend two of its members for a period of one week for instigating the worst brawl in the legislature in 12 years.

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said an investigation led by his deputy Thilanga Sumathipala
found that UNP’s Palitha Thewarapperuma and UPFA’s Prasanna Ranaweera were the main instigators of Tuesday’s punch up.

The assembly through two resolutions suspended the two MPs for one week which in practical terms mean that skip only Friday’s sittings. There are no sittings scheduled for next week according to parliament’s website.

The speaker also agreed to a proposal by JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake to release the video tapes of Tuesday’s brawl to the media so that the entire country could see the level of indiscipline among some of their elected representatives.

The live television broadcast of parliamentary proceedings did not show the punch up.

Contrary to reported claims by police Inspector General Pujith Jayasundara that they will investigate the brawl in parliament, Speaker and other MPs who spoke on the resolution to suspend the two MPs said there was no role for the police or outsiders.

Parliament erupted in brawls between rival lawmakers on Tuesday after ex-army chief Sarath Fonseka announced that a bomb blast apparently targeting Gotabhaya Rajapaksa 10 years ago was an "inside job".

MPs from Sri Lanka’s ruling party traded blows with those loyal to former president Mahinda Rajapaksa who became enraged after Fonseka said the 2006 bombing was aimed at winning sympathy.

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said several lawmakers were injured and MP Sandith Samarasinghe was later taken to hospital suffering a black eye after the worst melee seen in the legislature house in 12 years.

In June 2004, the then-government MPs led by Mervyn Silva attacked JHU Buddhist monk MP Kolonnawe Sumangala who suffered a serious penile injury and was hospitalised for days.





Following Tuesday’s fighting, the Speaker adjourned the assembly. (COLOMBO, May 5, 2016)

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