A group led by former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa spread terror at the peaceful protests in Galle Face and outside Temple Trees, Venerable Omalpe Sobhitha Thera said.
Speaking to the Media, Ven. Sobhitha Thera said the former Premier had acted in a shameless, short-sighted, self-promoting manner which had brought terror to the peaceful protest site at Galle Face. “The whole world saw how it all happened. It was aimed at creating terror and terrorism throughout the country,” he said.
Referring to the order given to Security Forces to shoot at looters and destroyers of public property, he urged them to think several times before pulling the trigger. “Don’t be misled by such conspiracies,” Ven. Sobhitha Thera urged the public. “The end would be disastrous and only create a bad image of Sri Lanka in the world’s eyes,” he lamented.
Colombo Archbishop Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith appealed to the public to refrain from engaging in any acts of violence, arson, and looting as it would defeat the purpose of the peaceful protests for a change. “What we are asking is for democracy, transparency, honesty, and unity. But all will be lost if we don’t keep calm,” he appealed.
“The present acts of violence and looting was not the aim of the peaceful protests and demonstrations that were taking place at Temple Trees and Galle Face. Considering the burdens of the public, the peaceful demand was for a positive change. The protesters at Galle Face and Temple Tress strove to follow a peaceful and democratic way to win those demands,” Cardinal Ranjith said.
“But the struggle may be weakened by the violence that erupted on 9 May. There may be political forces working within them with the aim of diluting the non-violent democratic struggle,” he added.
The Cardinal said the country cannot move forward with the current situation. “Not only will the country be bankrupt, the unity will be destroyed and create national security concerns. Do not allow blatant violence to dull what we are trying to achieve in the country,” he said.
The Archbishop cautioned the public to not be duped by the groups who attempt to provoke them into acts of violence. “Do not let them use you,” he appealed.
By Dilanthi Jayamanne