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Sri Lanka suspends MPs after worst brawl in 12 years

Thursday, May 5, 2016 - 16:07

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Sri Lanka's parliament on Thursday voted unanimously to suspend two of its members for one week with immediate effect over their involvement in the worst punch-up in the legislature in 12 years.

[COLOMBO] Sri Lanka's parliament on Thursday voted unanimously to suspend two of its members for one week with immediate effect over their involvement in the worst punch-up in the legislature in 12 years.

The two men, one from Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's United National Party and the other from an opposition faction loyal to former president Mahinda Rajapakse, were held responsible for sparking Tuesday's brawl.

The chamber descended into chaos after former army chief Sarath Fonseka said a 2006 bombing in Colombo was an inside job, enraging MPs loyal to Rajapakse who clashed with parliamentarians from the ruling party.

One MP was hospitalised after receiving a black eye while several others suffered minor injuries.

Tuesday's violence in the parliamentary chamber was the worst since a June 2004 attack on a Buddhist monk MP by lawmakers from the then ruling party. The monk was seriously injured.

Mr Fonseka, now a government legislator, told parliament the December 2006 bomb attack blamed on separatist Tamil Tiger rebels had been stage-managed by the then president's brother Gotabhaya Rajapakse, who was defence secretary at the time.

Mr Gotabhaya escaped the December 2006 bombing in Colombo unhurt, but it killed two members of his military convoy.

Former army general Mr Fonseka himself was seriously wounded in a suicide bombing in April 2006.

AFP

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