The joint opposition organised anti-government protest march, ‘Jana Balaya Kolambata’ will be held today as scheduled despite the Colombo Municipal Council cancelling the bookings made for different venues, JO leaders yesterday assured.
JO national organiser and MP Dullas Alahapperuma told a news briefing that they had booked five different venues several weeks ago but they were informed yesterday that the bookings had been cancelled.
However, he said the most number of people in the history of such rallies would be brought to Colombo today to protest against the selling of national assets, the increasing cost of living, mounting taxes and the deterioration of cultural values.
JO leader and MP, Dinesh Gunawardane said people from the Northern, Eastern and Southern Provinces, the upcountry and other areas would arrive in Colombo today.
“We want to remind the government that it no longer has a mandate to rule the country in the wake of defeat in the local government elections. People are being oppressed daily. Their suffering should come to end,” he said.
MP Udaya Gammanpila said the government was under the impression that it had developed the country in an unprecedented manner and people were satisfied with governance.
“The government doesn’t understand the displeasure and the disappointment expressed by the people at their home and workplace. Therefore, the people should express their anger in a way it is heard by the government. The best way to do that is by joining our protest,” he said.
Meanwhile, MP Prasanna Ranatunga asked bus operators not to be worried about the transport authorities threatening to cancel route permits.
“The law says that only a fine of Rs.1,000 can be charged if a bus operated outside its permit. The permit cannot be cancelled. If the authorities fined bus operators, we will pay the fine by tonight with the help of the people,” he said. (Lahiru Pothmulla)