Ex-President sounds alarm over possible attacks on protest


by Norman Palihawadana

The Joint Opposition (JO) had received information that some members of the security forces, dressed in civvies, might attack its supporters during its protest in Colombo today (05), former President Mahinda Rajapaksa told The Island yesterday.

"We think these attacks might be carried out to provoke us. We have taken steps to ensure that such provocations will not lead to violence. The government is scared because hundreds of thousands of people will be on the roads. Thus it wants to provoke people and order a crackdown."

IGP Pujith Jayasundara, contacted for comment, denied the allegation.

He said that the security forces had no intention of causing chaos in the city and disrupt daily life. "We have better things to do. Today is a weekday, millions of state and private sector employees and students will be in Colombo. We are trying to minimise the difficulties they would face.

Jayasundara added that additional traffic policemen would be deployed to minimise congestion. He urged the protesters to act peacefully.

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