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* Decision to provide MSD security without weapons for Sri Lanka opposition convention questioned in parliament
Fri, Nov 30, 2012, 11:40 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Nov 30, Colombo: Parliamentarians of Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party questioned the decision to provide Ministerial Security Division (MSD) officers without firearms to the general assembly of the party due to take place tomorrow.

The 54th annual convention of the UNP will be held December 01 at the party headquarters, Sirikotha.

The opposition MPs inquired from the Speaker of Parliament, as to who had issued the order preventing their MSD officers from carrying their firearms.

The usage of firearms by Ministerial Security Division personnel of 33 UNP MPs at tomorrow's venue has been banned.

Deputy leader of UNP Sajith Premadasa and parliamentarians Buddhika Pathirana, Sujeewa Senasinghe, Dayasiri Jayasekara, Ranjith Madduma Bandara, Ruwan Wijewardena, Harin Fernando, Niroshan Perera and Rosy Senanayake raised the issue in parliament today saying that their parliamentary privileges have been violated by the decision.

In response, Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakkody said that it was a decision taken by the organizing committee of the opposition convention.

"UNP MPs and their security officers would be barred from carrying their personal weapons to the party convention and its precincts in Sirikotha tomorrow," the Deputy Speaker said

"It was a decision taken by the UNP convention organizing committee and was outside the territory of Parliament," he added.

The party power center is scheduled to move a party working committee proposal in the general assembly to amend the UNP constitution to extend the mandate of the leader and other senior officials up to six years.

At the last year's election, pro-reform Sajith Premadasa faction unsuccessfully bid to oust the incumbent leader Ranil Wickremasinghe and the chaos that followed the election damaged the party headquarters Sirikotha.

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