At least four lawmakers and several police officers were injured. The proceedings were carried live on TV and beamed across the island nation.
The trouble began when lawmakers allied to Mahinda Rajapaksa, a former president who, in a contentious move, was appointed prime minister last month, arrived in the chamber early and occupied the speaker’s chair.
The lawmakers broke microphones and staged mock sessions. They also blocked the mace, a gold-tipped ebony staff that is the symbol of authority, from being brought into the chamber to begin the session.