Tense situation in parliament as bill to establish office on missing persons is passed

Tense situation in parliament as bill to establish office on missing persons is passed

Written by Staff Writer

11 Aug, 2016 | 10:29 pm

The Joint Opposition voiced their objection when the Act pertaining to the establishment of an office on missing persons was presented in parliament on Thursday, August 11.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Mangala Samaraweera responded to the objections of the Joint Opposition. The Minister noted that since the day they gained independence, a group of extremists have been disrupting this process, and today their descendants have come forward to disrupt this process and are attempting to swim in the blood of minorities, to swim in the tears of mothers.

The Office of Missing Persons Act was passed in parliament today, with amendments.

 

However members of the Joint Opposition protested when a decision was reached to vote on the Act ar 11 a.m. on Friday. The joint opposition parliamentarians also wore black bands in parliament today to express their protest.

As MPs of the Joint Opposition made their way to the isle of the chambers in protest, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya temporarily adjourned proceedings and called for a party leaders meeting.

Thereafter, as tensions had not calmed when parliamentary proceedings got underway again, MPs of the Joint Opposition did not agree to the alternative proposals made by the ruling party.

Leader of the House, Minister Lakshman Kiriella eventually proposed that the debate on the draft bill for the establishment of an Office on Missing Persons be held until 9.30 tonight and that the voting be taken up at 2 p.m.  tomorrow.

Expressing their views on the bill, the JVP said that the bill should also investigate cases of disappearances in the years 1971, 1998 and 1999.

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