Joint opposition protest in
11, 2003 - 11.00 GMT]
The joint opposition protest gathered a massive crowd to Colombo
yesterday and demonstrated peacefully despite information received that
saboteurs had planned to create communal disturbances in the city during the
Amidst tight security, the demonstrators protested against the increased
cost of living and shortcomings in the Ceasefire Agreement.
Addressing the crowd at the Town
Hall Grounds Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapakse said that the Government
had still not done anything to reduce the high cost of living, which is a
burden on the people.
"Although the Government says that the peace process has brought
fruitful results, the LTTE is going from strength to strength under the
guise of peace. It will not benefit the country," Rajapakse added.
The JVP Propaganda Secretary, Wimal Weerawansa said that the Agreement
between the Government and the LTTE has given too many concessions to the
LTTE to further their separatist objectives.
"If the Agreement signed by the Government is successful and a
peaceful atmosphere is prevailing in the country how can the LTTE be allowed
to bring arms and ammunition to the country," he asked.
According to the Chief Opposition Whip Mangala Samaraweera the
demonstration was the biggest ever protest rally since independence.
However the Lanka Samasamaja party and the Communist party did not take
part in the protest claiming that it was against their stand on the ethnic
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Date: March 11, 2003 - 11.00