Pandemonium reigned in Parliament today when the ruling party and opposition SJB MPs confronted each other trying to determine as to who should move the adjournment debate on the Presidential Commission report on political victimization which will come up tomorrow.
The issue was brought up by Chief Opposition Whip Lakshman Kiriella who requested Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardene to allow the opposition to move the debate.
However, Leader of the House Dinesh Gunawardene argued that the opposition had agreed to allow the ruling party to move the debate. “The opposition agreed at the party leaders' meeting that the government be allowed to move the debate. Therefore one cannot understand as to why the opposition MPs are wasting time bringing unnecessary arguments,” he said.
“Besides it was the SLPP which suffered political victimization under the previous government. We have a moral right to move the debate,” he added.
Tension erupted finally after tense arguments with MPs of both sides storming towards the well. Government MPs were seen holding placards and chanting that the opposition MPs are murderers. The placards said “Minimaruwo kalu andagana (murderers clad in black). Some MPs were holding images of Zahran Hashim who led the Easter Sunday carnage. Government MPs were wearing black arm bands, while the SJB MPs were wearing black.
There were near physical fisticuffs when MP Harin Fernando and Tissa Kuttiarachchi began pushing each other. A group of MPs from both sides settled the issue preventing physical blows.(Yohan Perera and Ajith Siriwardana)