Sri Lanka News

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One day’s suspension for Jaffna MP Gajendran


By Walter Jayawardhana

Gajendran Ponnambalam, a member of the proxy party of the terrorist group Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) ultimately was suspended by the Speaker of the Sri Lanka Parliament following pandemonium caused by the member’s pro-separatist remarks made on the floor of the parliament.

Every member of the Sri Lanka parliament, takes an oath of allegiance to the Constitution of Sri Lanka and a remark denoting his allegiance to the LTTE’s putative state made members to shout that Ponnambalam should be arrested for treason.

The controversy arose when Ponnambalam, a member of the LTTE proxy party, Tamil National Alliance said they had their own three armed forces and a separate rule. He said they would use air power for their protection and commended the “Ealam Air Force.”

Ponnambalam was referring to the three bombing sorties of the air wing of the LTTE performed including the ones in Colombo setting fire to a India and Anglo-Dutch owned petroleum installations, causing some damage by dropping gravity bombs using low flying propeller driven aircraft, hard to be detected by radar.

Outraged by the separatist remarks the nationalist Member of Parliament Venerable Ellawala Medhananda Thero then rose and suggested that MP S. Gajendran should be taken into custody.

Minister Dinesh Gunawardhana then rose to question the deputy speaker who was presiding at the time whether an MP could make such seditious statements. The minister inquired whether MP Gajendran spoke for the TNA or for the Tiger terrorist movement. Deputy speaker Geethanjana Gunawardhana said that the speaker would refer this matter to the party leader and take necessary action.

When the parliament met for the second day JVP parliamentary group leader Wimal Weerawanse making a statement said that S. Gajendran member of TNA has violated the provisions of the Sri lanka constitution when he made a controversial statements on the floor.

He said Gajendran had congratulated the air strike and had said they were only directed at the enemy, the Sri Lankan state.

Weerawansa demanded the Speaker W. J. M. Lokubandara to order the MP to withdraw his comments and tender an apology. Gajendran, however, refused to do so.

This caused an uproar in the parliament, resulting in the speaker adjourning the assembly for 50 minutes in order to convene a meeting of all political party leaders. When the sittings resumed, the legislators were not happy with the apology tendered by Gajendran.

Speaker Lokubandara then suspended him for the day preventing him from taking part in the rest of the day’s sittings.

An enthusiastic supporter of the LTTE he told a US Congressional Committee that “LTTE is governing 70% of the Northeast with their own police, judiciary, customs, immigration, etc” in 2005.

But since then the LTTE’s power has been restricted to two districts in the North and a small jungle enclave in the Eastern Province. His farther, the late G.G. Ponnambalam Jr. has been bestowed with the Great Man award by terrorist leader Velupillai Prabhakaran. Gajendran has been called the grand son of G.G.Ponnambalam Sr, son of G.G. Ponnambalam Jr. and the obedient servant of Velupillai Prabhakaran.

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May 11, 2007 - Posted by | International News

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