Opposition parties plan protests against Ceasefire Agreement

[TamilNet, Thursday, 06 March 2003, 16:57 GMT]
The Opposition Alliance, formed by the main opposition party in Sri Lanka’s parliament, the Sri Lanka Fredom Party (SLFP), in an alliance with the Jantha Vimukti Peramuna (JVP), the Mahajana Eaksath Peramuna (MEP), the National Unity Alliance (NUA), and the Sri Lanka Mahajana Paksaya (SLMP), said in a press conference in Colombo Thursday that it wants to “save the country” and has planned to conduct massive protests on March 10 against the UNF Government’s Ceasefire agreement with the LTTE and its economic policies of the past year.

Opposition Alliance Conference
Mr.Anura Bandaranaike addressing the press conference. Left Mr. Sarath Amunugama, Dinash Gunawardana and Mrs. Ferial Asraff right to Mr. Wimal Weerawansa and Mangala Sameraweera.


SLFP’s Anura Bandaranaike, The JVP propaganda secretary, Mr. Wimal Weerawansa, MEP leader Mr. Dinesh Gunawardana, NUA leader Mrs. Ferial Ashraff, People’s Alliance media spokesman Mr. Sarath Amunugama, the chief organizer of the Opposition Alliance, Mr. Mangala Sameraweera, and secondary leaders of the parties attended the first press conference of the alliance held Thursday in Colombo.

The opposition leader, Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa, of the SLFP was not present at the press conference. The Communist Party of Sri Lanka and the Laka Sama Samaja Party are not part of the alliance.

Mr. Anura Bandaranaike, explaining the object of their new organization, said, “The people of our country have now arrived at a most critical juncture. We are faced with a challenge caused by UNF Government; the North and East provinces are being gradually transferred to the LTTE. What they called as peace process now paves the way for the division of the country.”

Opposition Alliance Conference
Mr.Anura Bandaranaike addressing the press conference.


“Pirapaharan’s son has been issued with a National Identity Card due to the intervention of certain ministers of the present government. This is enough proof of the fact that the government is virtually a puppet,” said Mr.Bandaranaike

Many journalists posed questions to the alliance leaders. “ If you take power tomorrow, what will you do to the MOU and Ceasefire agreement between United National Front (UNF) Government and Liberation Tamil Tigers of Eelam (LTTE),” journalists asked. But the party leaders evaded that question and failed to give a clear answer.

Mr. Wimal Weerawansa of the JVP objected to that type of questions and said, “We are now talking about arranging demonstrations on 10th of March. The North-East crisis and some other issues have been taken up for discussion between the opposition parties. We have not arrived at a final stand on some issues and so at this moment we couldn’t provide an opinion on our stand.”

However, the chief organizer, Mr. Mangala Sameraweera, said, “We have all come together and taken a common stand on 90% of the issues. The remaining 10% will be taken up for discussion soon. This MOU is an internal agreement between the UNF and the LTTE. That is a personal agreement between Ranil Wickremasinghe and LTTE leader Pirapaharan. It is not between the Sri Lankan Government and LTTE. It is our stand on the MOU.”

Opposition Alliance Conference
Mr.Anura Bandaranaike addressing the press conference. left Mr. Sarth Amunugama, right Mr. Wimal Weerawansa and Mangala Samaraweera.

 

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