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Parliament adjourned till March 21

A tense situation prevailed in Parliament today (10) between the members of the government and Joint Opposition (JO), compelling the Speaker to adjourn Parliament till March 21.

The tense situation came about when Leader of the House and Highways and Higher Education Minister Lakshman Kiriella objected to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya giving the JO the opportunity to talk in Parliament over making NFF an independent party in the House as well as assigning a member of the JO to represent views of it in place of JO leader Dinesh Gunawardena who was suspended from attending the sittings for a week.

When JO member Keheliya Rambukwella was speaking following JO members Chamal Rajapaksa, Wimal Weerawansa and Dullas Alahapperuma, Minister Lakshman Kiriella objected on allowing them to speak in Parliament stating that the Speaker had already stated a ruling.

He added that it was not fair to waste the time of the House as there are many matters that the government has to take up.

"This is a matter that the Speaker has already given a ruling on," Minister Kiriella said.

"If around two hours is allowed to be wasted every day for these members how can the government work?" At this occasion the JO members rose to their feet and began to shout and object against Minister Kiriella.

Several government members too join the brawl, fanning the tense situation.

The Speaker said that the JO members were not given opportunity to speak on this matter for the past three days.

"I promised them to give time during this week. Let them speak," the Speaker said.

"But the decision is made already. We have to attend to public business," Minister Kiriella said.

"I promised them to give time to express their grievances," the Speaker said.

"Lets give them five minutes. MP Rambukwella may continue his speech".

Thereafter MP Rambukwella continued amidst chaos as members of both the side were shouting.

However when MP Rambukwella wound up his speech, the Speaker announced that the Public Business is commenced.

Amidst the chaos situation someone was heard requesting to suspend the sittings for 10 minutes.

Following this suggestion the Speaker announced the adjournment at till March 21.

The government members left the House while the Joint Opposition members shouting slogans hailing the Speaker.

However according to the order paper the sittings were scheduled from 10.30 am to 1 pm and from 1.30 pm to 7.30 pm.