Muslim protesters jeer UNP leader

[TamilNet, Sunday, 29 August 1999, 07:56 GMT]
Crowds of Muslim protesters jeered as the Sri Lanka's opposition leader Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe passed through Sammaanthurai, 48 kilometres south west of Batticaloa, this morning. The leader of the United National Party (UNP) was on his way to address a party rally in Kalumnai, organised by 'My Own' Mustapha, an influential businessman-politician who broke away from the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) recently.

ranil_wickramasinghe_5-p.gifThe crowd jeering Mr. Wickremasinghe was taking part in a protest fast by a group calling itself Muslim People's Assembly (Muslim Makkal Peravai) opposing the UNP leader's visit to the east.

Informed sources in Sammaanthurai, however, said that the protest fast and the black flags along the main street of the town were organised by the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC).

Mr.Wickremasinghe was accompanied by the USP's general secretary Gamini Athukorala and other senior members of the party.

In the evening he will attend the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the Gal Oya scheme in Ampara.

Sources in Kalmunmai said that the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress is worried that 'My Own' Mustapha's popularity might eat into its support base in the Muslim coastal areas of the Ampara district.


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