2ND LEAD (CORRECTION, UPDATE)
Weerawansa’s protest against UN turns violent, announces 'devil dance'
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 06 July 2010, 14:30 GMT]
Sri Lankan Minister for Construction and Housing, Wimal Weerawansa, who launched a protest in front of the UN office in Bauddaloka Mawatta in Colombo demanding the UN to dissolve the expert panel announced by the UN Secretary General to investigate allegations of war crimes and human rights violations, arrived at the demonstration site around 5:00 p.m. and prompted the protesters to enter the premises of the UN complex after phoning Sri Lankan Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and receiving instructions, a reporter at the site told TamilNet. A police officer was manhandled by the mob and the police has withdrawn from the premises. The protest was going till the reporter left the site at 7:00 p.m. The minister himself attacked the police officer and has planned to hold 'devil dance' throughout the night in front of the UN office.
The angry minister held the phone and let the police hear his conversation with Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and gave instruction to the police to withdraw from the site.
The Sri Lankan Foreign Secretary Romesh Jayasinghe rushed to the site and attempted to resolve the crisis with the group of the protesters as the police had withdrawn from the site and the mob was attempting to enter the premises.
Wimal Wimalawansa heads an extremist party, Jathika Nidahas Peramuna, a group that defected from JVP.
A few days ago, when Wimal Weerawansa urged the Sinhala masses to attack the UN office, the UN demanded an explanation from the Sri Lankan government, informed sources said. The response of the Sri Lankan government was that it was a ‘personal’ view of the minister.
The UPFA government, which has been using former propaganda secretary of the JVP to campaign against the peace process, the Norwegian peace facilitators and the agreements reached between the LTTE and Colombo, is now being deployed by the UPFA to intimidate the UN Secretary General who has appointed an expert panel to investigate alleged war crimes.