Close to five months after the military defeat of the LTTE, Sri Lankan Parliament on Thursday extended the state of Emergency in the country by another month.

The motion to extend the Emergency was adopted by Parliament with a majority of 70 votes. While 82 parliamentarians voted for the motion, 12 voted against. The main opposition United National Party abstained while members of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) were not present in House.

For a few weeks now, sections of the opposition and civil society in the country have been questioning the wisdom of the government in retaining the emergency regulations even after the decimation of the Tigers.

On behalf of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who holds the Defence portfolio, Parliament was presented a proposal seeking Sri Lankan Rupees 33 billion to cover expenses of the three forces, including payment of salaries and compensations to those who lost their lives during the war.

Meanwhile, in an interview to a local television channel, the Defence Secretary said the government had taken all required steps to seize assets of the LTTE and dismantle its network across the globe and urged the people to support the President in his efforts towards the objective.

Pakistani team

A seven-member investigation team from Pakistan is here in connection with the probe into the terror attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore in early March. According to authorities here, the team would be here for at least a week and look into possible Sri Lankan links to the attack.

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