Parliament stalled again over Sri Lanka war (Second Lead)

February 18th, 2009 - 2:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Somnath ChatterjeeNew Delhi, Feb 18 (IANS) Angry MPs of the MDMK and PMK created uproar in the Lok Sabha Wednesday in support of Sri Lankan Tamils, forcing Speaker Somnath Chatterjee to adjourn the house twice within minutes.
The MPs, wearing black shirts, shouted slogans and walked up to the well of the house expressing their protest against External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s suo motu statement in the house over the Sri Lankan situation.

“Stop the war in Sri Lanka” and “we are not satisfied with the statement” (of the minister) were among the slogans. The sloganeering started midway through the external affairs minister’s statement.

After his efforts to discipline the agitated members failed, the speaker first adjourned the house at 12.20 p.m. for 25 minutes.

When the Lok Sabha re-assembled, the MPs were in the same mood and stormed into the well of the house, forcing another adjournment of 75 minutes.

The two parties’ MPs were also backed by representatives of some other regional Tamil parties.

The MPs shouted that the Indian government should interfere for a “permanent ceasefire” in Sri Lanka to save Tamil civilians.

Mukherjee had said the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) would “best serve the interest of the Tamils by immediately releasing all civilians (under its control) and laying down arms”.

Pointing out that the LTTE was an outlawed group in India, the minister added that it “has done much damage to the Tamil community”.

The Indian government, he added, “is ready to facilitate the evacuation of civilians trapped in the area of conflict, working with the government of Sri Lanka and the ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross)”.

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