"Opposition processions illegal" -IGP

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 18 July 2001, 16:04 GMT]
Sri Lankan police Wednesday banned protest rally by the joint opposition against the prorogation of parliament by President Kumaratunga. The rally had been planned for Thursday in Colombo.

The Inspector General of Police(IGP) quoted section 45 of the Referendum Act 7 of 1981 and denied a request for permission and protection for the demonstrations from Mr.Gamini Atukorale, the Deputy Leader of the UNP. The IGP added that those who "commit or attempt to commit breach of such acts are liable to be arrested and prosecuted."

Mr.Gamini Atukorale had earlier sent a letter to the IGP requesting police protection for "gathering of groups of people on July 19 around 9 a.m. at six different places on the major roads leading to Colombo and thereafter to proceed to Maradane."

Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe, at a press conference held Tuesday, requested that all schools, offices and business establishments be closed Thursday as a "sign of solidarity" with the protest against the prorogation of parliament. He expressed confidence that one million people from all parts of the country would participate in a massive protest rally at the Town Hall in Maradane.

 

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