Arrest warrant for protest leader

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 18 August 1999, 23:00 GMT]
The Colombo district court issued warrant today to arrest Viraj Kariyawasam, the General Secretary of the United National Party's youth wing, (Jathika Yovun Peramuna), following yesterday's anti government demonstration in Colombo.

The police have accused Kariyawasam of causing damage to Government property during the demonstration which turned violent when Sri Lankan police blocked marchers on their way to the Presidential Secretariat to hand over a memorandum.

chandrika_guards.jpg
Sri Lankan President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge
Over a dozen demonstrators and policemen were wounded during ensuing violence in which police used tear gas to disperse the protestors.

According to the UNP youth wing, the demonstration was organised to protest against the Sri Lankan government's failure to honour its 1994 election pledges.

The ruling People's Alliance (PA) coalition came to power in August 1994, promising, amongst other matters, to abolish Sri Lanka's Executive Presidency by July 1995, a factor which has featured prominently in UNP campaigning recently.

However, the PA points out that the UNP is itself not committed to abolishing the Executive Presidency.

 

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