Tear gas breaks demonstration

[TamilNet, Thursday, 25 May 2000, 09:15 GMT]
Sri Lankan police fired teargas and used water cannon Thursday to disperse demonstrators protesting against the government's emergency regulations which civic rights activists say are draconian. A large number of people gathered outside the Colombo town hall in the afternoon, defying the government's ban on demonstrations, sources said.

The protest was organised by left wing Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), Nava Samasamaja Party (NSSP) and the Muslim United Front.

The government recently gave itself sweeping powers, including those to close newspapers and media organizations and to ban on public demonstrations, strikes. Censorship laws were made stricter and extended to include foreign media.

In the past week, three newspapers, the pro-opposition Sunday Leader, its Sinhala language sister paper and the Tamil language Uthayan have been closed down.


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