Marxists and Buddhist monks join for protest

[TamilNet, Monday, 20 August 2001, 18:13 GMT]
protest_200801_2.jpgSri Lanka's politically powerful Buddhist clergy aligned with the island's radical and 'moderate' Marxists Monday to demand that the Sri Lankan government should reconvene the Parliament and call off the proposed referendum on a referendum for a new constitution. The People's Centre for Democracy and the Freedom of the Country held a demonstration Monday around 2.30 p.m. at the Lipton Circus, a busy intersection in downtown Colombo. Thousands of protestors held placards and shouted slogans against the People's Alliance regime.

The People's Centre for Democracy is a front formed recently by the radical Marxist Janata Vimukthi Peramuna, the Democratic Left Front, led by Leftist Firebrand Vasudeva Nanayakkara, and one of the powerful 'political monks' in Sri Lanka, Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thero, Chief incumbent of the Sri Naga Vihara Kotte, organised the protest demonstration and meeting Friday.

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Meanwhile a large number of students at the Kelaniya University demonstrated from 11 a.m. Monday, demanding the government to "restore democracy in the country by reconvening prorogued parliament and canceling the postponed referendum".

The demonstration was organized by the University Student Front.

Hundreds of students assembled in front of university premises and shouted slogans criticizing government moves to curtail democracy in the country.

Students leaders said "unless the government takes appropriate measures to tackle the present political crisis in a democratic way, the country would become a graveyard".

Several parents also participated in the protest that continued for more than an hour, students sources said.


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