Colombo gets ready for 'People's Power' rally
[TamilNet, Sunday, 08 September 2002, 20:22 GMT]
Colombo city has been put on security alert from Sunday night, with more
than ten thousand police personnel manning various strategic points, as
thousands of supporters the United National Front (UNF) government started
arriving to attend a mammoth rally scheduled to be held Monday evening. The
UNF government organised this campaign to show its strength and support of
the masses for its peace efforts, ruling party sources said.
Mr. Sanjeeva Kaviratne, the organiser of the 'People's Power' rally, said
the UNF expects more than five hundred thousand people to take part in the
rally. Processions will begin from the four corners of Colombo city and will
converge at Colombo Town Hall where a public rally will be held in the
evening, he said.
"The main objective of the rally is to drum up public support for the peace
process and to establish democracy in the island," he added.
Several trade unions, religious organisations, non-governmental
organisations and civil rights groups will participate in the rally. The
Ceylon Workers Congress led by Minister Armugam Thondaman has said that more
than twenty five thousand of its members will attend the Colombo rally.
The Police have asked principals to close down their schools in Colombo to
prevent students being caught up in traffic jams.
Meanwhile the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, main constituent of the People's
Alliance, and the Janata Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) have charged that the UNF's
People's Power campaign has been organised to hoodwink the masses in the
name of peace.
The JVP charged that more than six hundred State vehicles including buses
have been hired by the UNF free of charge, to transport their supporters to
Colombo. However, the State Transport Board Chairman Mr.U.L.M.Farook denied
it. He said he has issued an instruction that no bus should be given free of
charge to anyone.