Raviraj assassination, a black mark on Sri Lanka - UNP parliamentarian

[TamilNet, Sunday, 12 November 2006, 18:08 GMT]
United National Party MP for Kalutura district, Rajitha Senaratne, addressing an all party press meet Sunday in Colombo said the assassination of Tamil National Alliance MP Nadarajah Raviraj in Colombo has challenged the people who voice for peace in the South. The assassination has created a black mark on Sri Lanka and has paved a way for the International Community to intervene in the domestic affairs, the MP said. The Anti-War National Front (AWNF) in Colombo has called for a Hartal in Colombo on Monday protesting against the assassination, extra-judicial killings and abductions taking place in Colombo and its environs.

Representatives of the Anti-War Front have called for a closure of shops and requested to hang white flags in all shops and houses in Colombo on Monday. The announcement was made at the press meet held at Sri Lanka Foundation Institute (SLFI) between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon.

A demonstration is to coincide with the casket procession of late Nadarajah Raviraj, scheduled to take place from Raymond's Parlour to Colombo Town Hall Monday at 2:00 p.m. from Raymond's Florists, Borella. The casket will be held at the Town Hall for the public to pay tribute.

More than 120 organizations including political parties, civil organizations and trade unions will take part in the event, the organizers said.

A public meeting has also been organized in Colombo on Monday afternoon.

Mr. Rajitha Senarathna, while speaking in the press meeting further said, "the assassinated MP Raviraj functioned as a bridge to North and South. His murder is a challenge to people who voice for peace. Raviraj who also addressed the problems faced by the people of South, participated in many demonstrations organized on their interests. He had many Sinhala friends. He joined us in advocating the release of S.B. Disanayake," he said.

"We see his loss as the same as late Vijaya Kumarathunghe."

Mano Ganeshan, MP, in his address described Raviraj as a fighter for democracy. "He was killed by extremist forces because he voiced for the rights of the Tamil nation and human rights."

P. Rathakrishnan, MP and Deputy Minister, said that Upcountry people's Front would continue with protest in Upcountry.

"We have lost a good leader of a community who was also good at explaining the grievances of the Tamil people to Sinhala people in Sinhala language," he said.

R.Yogarajan, the vice President of CWC said, the list of killed politicians of North East continues with the assassinations of Kumar Ponnampalam, Joseph Pararajasingam and Raviraj. "Government should conduct responsible investigations," he said.

Dr. Vickramabahu Karunaratne, leader of the New Left Front (NLF), in his address, called on Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse to sever his relationship with extremist forces.

R. Sampanthan, MP, the Parliamentary Leader of the TNA, T.Maheswaran, United National Alliance(UNP) MP for Colombo district, Mano Ganeshan,MP, the leader of Western People's Front, Mr. Rajitha Senaratne, UNP MP for Kaluthara district, P.Rathakrishnan, Upcountry People's Front (UPF) MP and Deputy Minister, Suresh Premachandran, TNA MP for Jaffna district, K.A. Fayz, Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) MP, R.Yogarajan, MP, the vice president of Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC), DR. Vickramabahu Karunaratne, the leader of Left Front, Kumar Rupasinghe, the President of AWNF and number of representatives from other organizations participated in the press meeting.

The remains of late Nadaraja Raviraj will be flown to his hometown Chavakachcheri on Tuesday where his body will be kept at his residence for people to pay their last tribute until Wednesday afternoon and cremated around 2:30 p.m., relatives said.


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