Sri Lanka’s president suspends parliament for one month

May 7th, 2008 - 12:25 pm ICT by admin  

Colombo, May 7 (DPA) Sri Lanka’s president Wednesday postponed parliament for a month amid claims by the opposition that the move was aimed at diverting attention from corruption allegations ahead of provincial elections. The suspension of parliament was effective Tuesday midnight and sittings will resume June 5 with a ceremonial session presided over by President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

“This is one of the ways the government can prevent the opposition raising issues about malpractices in the eastern elections,” opposition United National Party (UNP) member of parliament John Amaratunga said.

Eastern provincial elections are scheduled for Saturday. Fully liberated from Tamil rebels last year, it will be the first time in 20 years that elections will be held in the eastern province.

On Tuesday, the opposition raised issues about the presence of a former militant group which continues to carry weapons in the province which consists of three districts - Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Ampara.

The group which has broken away from the Tamil rebels are contesting the elections with the ruling United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA).

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