JVP in massive protest march against ceasefire agreement
[TamilNet, Thursday, 20 February 2003, 16:25 GMT]
Sri Lankan Police used tear gas and water cannon to disperse thousands of
antigovernment demonstrators in Colombo Thursday afternoon. The protest
was organised by the Sinhala nationalist party, Janata Vimukthi Peramuna,
against the ceasefire agreement signed between with the Liberation Tigers
and the Government of Sri Lanka.
JVP parliamentarian Mr.Wimal Weerawanse and JVP General Secretary Mr.Tilvin
Silva led the procession. They carried a big banner with the text "One
Year For The Ranil, Prabha, Norway Pseudo Agreement Which Betrayed The
Sources in Colombo said about 50,000 people, including a large number of
Buddhist monks took part in the protest.
The protesters gathered at Paliyagoda and began to march towards Temple
trees, the Prime Minister's official residence. Hundreds of Special Task
Force soldiers and Police who were guarding the Prime Minister's residence,
however, stopped the protestors near James Peiris Mawatte by using water
cannon and tear gas, sources in Colombo said.
Several media personnel who were at the scene to cover the event were also
attacked. Mr. Eranga Jayawardena, Photojournalist with the Island, was
injured and was admitted at the Colombo General Hospital. Sources said his Nikon
digital camera, with an estimated value of Rs. 400,000, was completely
The JVP organized this march protesting against the ceasefire agreement
Signed by the United National Front government and the LTTE, which is to complete
one year of existence Saturday.
Earlier, Propaganda Secretary of the JVP, Mr.Wimal Weerawanse, addressing a
press conference said very shortly his party would organize a mammoth rally
against the implementation of the Ceasefire agreement and the LTTE.