Sinhala nationalists burn World Bank official’s effigy

[TamilNet, Thursday, 10 March 2005, 10:58 GMT]
More than three thousand slogan chanting Sinhala nationalists Thursday burnt the effigy of World Bank’s resident representative for Sri Lanka, Mr. Peter Harrold in downtown Colombo, demanding that he be sent out for saying that there is an unofficial state in the island’s northeast. The demonstration against the World Bank was organized by the Patriotic National Movement, an alliance of Sinhala nationalists backed by Sri Lanka President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s powerful coalition partner, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP).

Peter Harrold's effigy being burnt
The protestors shouting slogans and carrying placards denouncing the World Bank (WB) and its resident representative Mr. Peter Harrold marched from the Liberty Theatre Intersection in Colpetty to the WB country office near the Indian High Commission off Galle Road.

A brief rally held there was addressed by JVP strongman Mr. Wimal Weerawansa, MP and the leading Sinhala nationalist Buddhist monk Ven. Elle Gunawansa Thero. Both of them slammed Mr. Peter Harrold for his alleged statement and called on the Sri Lankan government to order him to leave the country immediately.

Then the demonstrators set fire to Mr. Harrold’s effigy as the crowds cheered and chanted.

Thousands of posters demanding the deportation of the WB resident representative appeared all over Colombo since Tuesday when the JVP began a major row over a statement by Mr. Harrold in an interview with the Sunday Times published from Colombo on 6 March.

A subsequent clarification issued by Mr. Harrold explaining that the circumstance of the interview was rejected by the JVP and Sinhala nationalists.

Senior government ministers close to the Patriotic National Movement joined the JVP in issuing condemnations of the World Bank official.

In the interview with the Sunday Times on 6 March Mr. Harrold was quoted saying” “I have often been roasted by sections of the media and Patriotic National Movement because they consider our consultation with the LTTE inappropriate. Given the fact that there is an officially recognized LTTE controlled area, a kind of unofficial state, and since it is a party to the Cease Fire Agreement with the government the LTTE has the status of a legitimate stake holder.”


PNM's main banner




Monks with "Wanted" placards

Co-Presidents of the PNM Mr. Weerawansa MP (L) and Ven. Elle Gunawansa Thero (R) leading the march

Monks marching

Demonstrants marching through Galle Road


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