Do not obstruct right to protest – Sajith

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Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa said, the Government is using terrorist-style repression by erecting permanent roadblocks and expanding the area in which they had been confined to by the protesters.

In a statement issued yesterday (24) Premadasa said the Government, which has been overcome by the ‘tsunami’ of people’s power, is already using pressure and repression against the people to maintain its power.

“The most recent was the erection of permanent roadblocks in and around Colombo Fort. As part of the complete closure of Lotus Road, roadblocks have been erected to stop vehicles from entering Colombo. The Government should be concerned that university students of this country are expected to protest in Colombo, and the Government should recognise that this cannot be stopped by ridiculous roadblocks,” Premadasa added.

He said while the country’s university system has been closed for two years and all academic activities have ceased, neither the Government nor any other force can violate the rights of university students, who are citizens of this country, who are protesting to safeguard their rights.

“The people have been confining the President and the Government within four walls for nearly two weeks. Instead of fulfilling the people’s aspirations, we believe that the people’s forces formed against the Gotabaya Rajapaksa-led Government, which exercised authoritarian rule for its own agenda, are unconditionally just and united in their determination to reverse any government repression of the people’s rights. We also emphasise that the people’s force will not hesitate,” Premadasa added.

Premadasa urged the Government to withdraw these arbitrary actions against democratic demands and rights of the people, rather than increasing the pressure on the people at the end of the day with these stupid decisions.

BY Nabiya Vaffoor