Sinhala nationalists step up campaign against talks

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 15 October 2002, 20:21 GMT]
The Sinhala Nationalist Janata Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP, People’s Liberation Front) vowed Tuesday to bring down Prime Minister Ranil Wicremesinghe’s government and defeat its peace negotiations with the Liberation Tigers. The JVP launched a campaign last week to convince Sinhalese that the peace process is a ruse to divide the island.

“Peace or Eelam?” ask thousands of new posters put up by the JVP in the Sinhala majority districts of the island. More than a thousand JVP cadres, activists and Buddhist monks took part in a demonstration against peace talks with the LTTE and Colombo’s policy of selling off unprofitable state run companies to foreign investors.

The JVP protest comes amid speculation that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s government is headed towards a terminal crisis as nine MPs of his main ally, the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, are threatening to pull out of the coalition and are currently boycotting the Sri Lankan Parliament.

JVP protest.

The party, which has emerged in recent years as a powerful third force in the Sinhala polity, is aligned to President Chandrika Kumaratunga.

The JVP demonstrated for half an hour at the Lipton’s Circus, a busy intersection near downtown Colombo.

The protestors then moved to the grounds of Hyde Park Corner for a rally. Hundreds of Buddhist monks took part in the protest.

The JVP’s general secretary, Mr. Tilvin Silva, its powerful propaganda secretary, Wimal Weerawangse and JVP MPs Mr. Nihal Galappathy, Ms. Anjaan Ummah, Mr.Bimal Ratnayaka and Anura Dissanayaka, took part and addressed the protest.

 

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