Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa and a group of MPs who visited ‘GotaGoGama’ to observe the tense situation were attacked and chased away by protesters.
Premadasa had visited the site after the attack on anti-government protesters escalated. Supporters of Mahinda Rajapaksa were involved.
Premadasa and MPs Hector Appuhamy, Harshana Rajakaruna, Rajitha Senaratne, Kavinda Jayawardana and Dilip Wedaarachchi also participated in a Media briefing.
Addressing the Media briefing, the SJB alleged that Rajapaksa should be held accountable for all the losses and the public does not have to follow the Emergency Act that was invoked to save the skin of the Government.
SJB General Secretary Ranjth Maddumabandara said, “These rogues were brought to Temple Trees and entertained by the Premier with alcohol to generate chaos at the peaceful protest. Many Provincial Council workers who are funded by taxpayers were brought to attack the public. They were armed with clubs and poles.”
He further urged the public to rise against this government which tries to suppress the people’s resistance through violence and emergency acts.
“The public does not have to follow the Emergency Act which the Government has invoked to save themselves. As the SJB, we will not tolerate this government anymore and any negotiations are off. We demand that the Government summons Parliament immediately and we will bring a No-Confidence Motion against it and the President,” he added.
Subsequently, MP Eran Wickremeratne who got pushed over and lost his glasses during the attack, said the SJB delayed the No-Confidence Motion against the Government and the President considering the country’s situation and the bad impression that it will create during IMF talks.
“But the Government or the Premier did not consider this. I couldn’t believe my eyes, when I inquired why aren’t they arresting or doing anything against the rogues, the Police Officer turned away. Why can’t they at least grab their weapons? The cops had enough time to stop this from happening at least in one location. Because they knew that the ‘MynaGoGama’ got attacked first and they waited till the rouges reached ‘GotaGoGama’ and destroyed it. The IGP should step down immediately for his incompetency to control this tense situation,” Wickremeratne said.
He further said the SJB is not ready to work with a rogue government, and will take over if the 21st Amendment was brought immediately.
Meanwhile, Ashok Abeysinghe said the SJB trade unions in all sectors will hold a week-long strike until the Government steps down.
Subsequently, Dr. Harsha de Silva said the Government has ruined the reputation of the country, in a period where we need foreign funds.
“They have been pleading for us to form a unity government, but now they spoilt everything. The Rajapaksas are traitors,” he added.
MP Manusha Nanayakkara urged the President, Premier, and the Government to step down do avoid a similar fate to Gaddafi in Libya.
By Nabiya Vaffoor