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Last updated: 06 April, 2010 - Published 15:03 GMT
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State of emergency extended
Sri Lanka parliament
There have been heated arguments over not allowing new MPs to swear-in
The dissolved parliament in Sri Lanka has once again extended the state of emergency for another month.

As 58 legislators supported the move, five parliamentarians have voted against the extension of state of emergency, which was declared during Sri Lanka’s conflict against Tamil Tigers.

It is the second time the parliament was reconvened after the dissolution in February by President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

There have been heated arguments between the speaker and the opposition leaders over a legal issue whether to allow three new MPs to swear in.

Three new MPs

The commissioner of elections has gazetted the names of three opposition politicians; MM Mustapha, DM Bandaranaike and Anura Gopallawa as new parliamentarians.

Speaker WJM Lokubandara
Speaker has ruled out allowing three new MPs to swear in

But the government insisted that a dissolved parliament can only be reconvened for one purpose according to the constitution: to extend the emergency regulations.

The opposition leader Ranil Wickramasinghe accused the speaker WJM Lokubandara of not replying to any of his letters seeking an appointment to discuss the day’s agenda.

United National Party (UNP) parliamentarian john Amerathunga questioned the impartiality of the speaker.

But the Leader of the House, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said the Attorney General has clearly stated that only those who were MPs at the time of the dissolution could attend the special session.

The election for a new parliament is to be held on Thursday 08 April.

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