Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 03 July 2016





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Government Gazette

JO to launch broad-based national movement

The Joint Opposition (JO) will launch a broad-based national movement urging the people to rally against the government. It will be marked with a four-day protest march that would commence on July 28 from Kandy and expected to reach Colombo on August 01. The march which will take the form of a national movement which will kick off opposite the Sri Dalada Maligawa, Kandy on July 28.

There have been isolated protests in towns and institutions islandwide against the undemocratic moves of the Government. The JO has focused its attention on the goings-on in Parliament and inaction in the area of good governance.

“Now it is time to organise a mass movement along with the JO to demonstrate public anger against the Government,” former Minister and LSSP Leader Prof. Tissa Vitarana told the Sunday Observer yesterday. During the 1988-1989 terror rule, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa launched a protest march from Tissamaharama to Colombo galvanising people into action. It is high time to do something innovative like that to rally the people to protest against the anti-democratic moves of the government, he said.

Prof. Vitarana said we have had some preliminary discussions regarding this. All political parties in the JO will participate in this protest march. The key issues are:The breakdown in good governance, indefinitely postponing Local Government Elections and the unbearable escalation of the cost of living.

“We would pressurise the Government to remove VAT from essential food commodities and also protest against the measures to curtail jobs,’ he said. At present, 12,000 CTB employees have been issued notice asking them to go on early retirement. The Government has also curtailed welfare measures. The ban on the sale of land and property to foreigners has also been removed and now foreigners were being encouraged to take control of our economy once again. We are going to oppose all these moves,” he said. “Meanwhile, we are going to be a part of the military machinery of the US by giving the Trincomalee base and also acquiring fighter planes for the Air Force, when there is no war or threat to our country.

We have been absorbed into the American empire thereby serving the interests of the American military and economy. We are protesting against the re-colonisation of our country,” he said.

JO sources said former President Mahinda Rajapaksa along with other civic organisations, the public who have been severely affected by VAT, government servants whose jobs were at stake, doctors, engineers, others professionals who were against Economic and Technological Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) with India would join the protest march.


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