JO to stage protest march from Kandy to Colombo


By Madura Ranwala

Joint Opposition yesterday announced that it would launch a four-day protest march against the government on July 28 from Kandy and reach Colombo on August 01.

Addressing a media briefing at Dr. N. M. Perera Centre at Borella yesterday, UPFA Parliamentarian Dullas Alahaperuma, Veteran Leftist Parliamentarian Vasudeva Nanayakkara, former Minister A. H. M. Azwer, former Foreign Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris and former Cabinet Minister Prof. Tissa Vitharana urged intellectuals, members of the public, businessmen and all others to join the campaign against the government.

Allahaperuma said the Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) had shown how to win battles against the government.

He stressed that it was not a political campaign but a movement against the anti-national forces propping up the incumbent administration.

Asked who would lead the front, Alahapperuma said that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa along with other civil organisations, public who had been burned by VAT, government servants whose jobs were at stake, doctors, engineers, others professionals who were against Economic and Technological Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) with India, would join the campaign.

Vasudeva Nanayakkara accused the government of attempting to reduce the salary of local employees by creating a competition with unemployed Indians and sell sate properties to investors through ETCA.

"No Sri Lankan employee would go to India for a low salary than the salary they get here because Indians are paid very low salaries there. At the same time by opening up job market here for Indians and creating a competition here between Sri Lankan and unemployed Indian job seekers, who were willing to get employed for a low salaries than locals, it would place locals in jeopardy. So we will lose both ways if the ETCA is signed."

"So strong opposition by general public against the government would save the country’s future and if we fail to do so at this juncture, the entire country will have to suffer," Nayakkara said.

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