Colombo put on red alert to face opposition demonstration
[TamilNet, Sunday, 09 March 2003, 18:22 GMT]
The city of Colombo has been put on red alert from Sunday and more than two thousand armed police personnel have been deployed at strategic junctions and near key buildings to thwart any disturbances when the joint opposition procession comprising the Sri Lanka freedom party (SLFP), Janata Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), Mahajana Eksath Peramuna (MEP) and, National Unity Alliance (NUA) is scheduled to commence Monday around 1 p.m., sources in Colombo said.
The procession which will commence from Campbell Park will converge at Town Hall for public meeting.
The Joint Opposition has organized this mass demonstration opposing the Cease-Fire Agreement signed by the United National Front (UNF) government and the the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
Interior Minister Mr.John Amaratunge Sunday ordered the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to take all possible steps to maintain law and order in the city following the President's statement that she had received reports of a conspiracy to cause damage to business properties belonging to minority communities during the demonstration and put the blame on the opposition, sources said.
Minister John Amaratunge said he has directed the IGP to tighten security in the event of demonstrators getting involved in mischief and arson. The demonstrators will not be allowed to divert from the route they have been assigned.
The Police Sunday announced that several roads would be closed for traffic from 1 p.m. Monday. According to traffic police, the route taken by the protestors will be closed for traffic while several other roads will closed once the crowd gets closer the venue.
Meanwhile, the opposition sources said that slogans to be shouted at the demonstration and rally Monday have already been published by the demonstration organizers. The slogans include 'Defeat the green Tiger that betrayed the country,' 'Need a good government, need an honest government and do not need a government that feeds the Tiger.'