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Opposition demand debate on crisis in East

KOTTE: Speaker W.J.M. Lokubandara suspended the sittings of the House yesterday for 15 minutes to have special party leaders meeting as main Opposition demanded an immediate debate to discuss the situation in the Eastafter passing the Social Security Scheme For Media Personnel Bill without any debate.

The Speaker convened this special party leaders meeting to settle the issue as Chief Government Whip Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle insisted that debate on the Eastern situation can be given only at 2.30 pm in accordance with the standing orders since the MPs have not dully informed the Parliament Secretariat about the debate.

Twenty MPs from the UNP, SLMC, TNA and Western People's Front rose to their feet demanding a debate on the Eastern situation considering it as matter of public importance. Leader of the House, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva informed the House that Government never oppose to having such debate but the Opposition should inform their request in writing to the Government.

However, Government agreed to have this debate at 2.30 pm as they were only prepared to participate at the Journalists pensions scheme bill in the House.

Speaker W.J.M. Lokubandara suspended the sittings at 10.10 am for 15 minutes to have the party leaders meeting.

Following the party leaders meeting Government agreed to give a full day debate on the Eastern security situation on Thursday having postponed the Emergency debate that was scheduled for Thursday to Friday. Party leaders also agreed to have two hours adjournment debate yesterday itself complying with the request by several MPs.

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