Colombo May Day rallies, meetings called off
[TamilNet, Saturday, 29 April 2006, 18:39 GMT]
Sri Lanka Defence Ministry officials, citing security concerns, have issued directions to parties to cancel all May Day public events, sources from Colombo said. Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) event scheduled to be held at the Galle Face Green, United National Party's (UNP's) procession from Galle Road to Colombo Municipal Council premises, and United Peoples Front (UPF) meeting at the Sugathadasa Stadium, and several other events are affected by the Defence ministry directive.
Sri Lanka's Minister of Health, Sripala de Silva told the media that the the decision was taken because the Government was not in a position to deploy sufficient number of troops to guarantee safety to attendees to the May day events.
UNP's Deputy Secretary, Tissa Attanayake, told the press that his party will be holding the May day event in Kandy as scheduled and that his party has requested security coverage for the event from the Government of Sri Lanka.
Sinhala Nationalist and marxist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) and extremist Buddhist Monks' party Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) have indicated that they have decided to hold May Day rallies in all districts except Colombo, poltical sources in Colombo said.
Inspector General of Police, Chandra Fernando, told the media that security in Colombo and suburbs will be strengthened during May day.