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UNP and UFPA to back extending emergency laws

By Tharumalee Silva

The United National Party (UNP) and the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) have decided to support extending the emergency regulations.

UPFA Parliamentarian Dinesh Gunawardena said that any persons arrested under emergency laws will be able to walk free once the regulations expire.

“The matter at hand has not been included in the parliamentary schedule for next week. But in any case, it is a matter that should be discussed. If the matter is raised, the UPFA will definitely vote in favor of extending emergency regulations,” he confirmed.

MP Dayasiri Jayasekara stated the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, which is part of the UPFA, will definitely vote for the extension of emergency regulations since the Sri Lanka Army, Air Force, and Navy should be given the maximum jurisdiction in order to control the situation in the country.

“The tri-forces and the Police are doing a tremendous job in ensuring the security of the country. We must grant them full authority by law to quench the unrest that is taking place in various parts of the island. If proposed, the SLFP will definitely vote for the addendum.”

MP Jayasekara further mentioned: “The decision lies in the hands of the Government, but in my personal opinion, I believe that emergency regulations should be extended, as we are still discovering weapons and experiencing unrest within the country.”

The emergency regulations introduced after the 21 April Easter Sunday bombings will expire on 21 May.

Speaking to The Sunday Morning, UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella said: “If the president decides to propose to extend the emergency regulations, we will stand by him and vote for the proposition.”

The UNP and UPFA, and SLFP combined, compose the majority of parliamentary votes, holding 201 seats in the Parliament.

MP Sunil Handunnetti stated that the JVP will only vote for the extension of emergency regulations, only if it’s absolutely necessary.

“First, the Government must propose the extension of emergency regulations, which they are yet to do. The JVP will consider the state of the country at that moment, and if there is a need to extend

regulations, we will vote for it. If there is no reason to extend it, we will vote against the proposition,” he said.