Sri Lanka parliament approves state of emergency

21:31, May 05, 2010      

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Sri Lanka's parliament voted on Wednesday in favor of extension of the state of emergency by a further month.

The motion was approved 132 voting for and 14 against in the 225-member assembly, officials said.

While the ruling party United People's Freedom Alliance voted in favor, the main minority Tamil party Tamil National Alliance voted against.

The main opposition United National Party (UNP) and the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) were not present at the time of the vote.

However, one of the 60 legislators from the UNP, Abdul Cader voted with the government.

The state of emergency in force since August 2005 gave sweeping powers to the government troops which enable them to win the military battle with the former Tamil Tiger rebels.

The government said it needed to relax some of the emergency laws in the current environment of peace with the end of the 30- year-old separatist war on May 18 last year.

The government maintained that continuation of laws were still necessary to deal with moves to revive by the Tiger rebels.

The opposition criticized the move as usage of laws to harass political opponents and muzzling of free media.

Source: Xinhua


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