Newly-reappointed Chief Government Whip, Minister Prasanna Ranatunga, speaking in Parliament yesterday (27), called for the removal of protesters from the Galle Face protest site.
Minister Ranatunga also pointed out that he, as the Urban Development Minister, is of the opinion that the allocated protest site adjoining the Presidential Secretariat is in no way a suitable site.
“This had been clearly evident during the recent past,” he told the House.
Therefore, he said, this protest site should be removed from that location and an alternative location should be allocated.
“Viharamahadevi Park would be an ideal location, as it is also close to the Opposition Leader’s Office and he can maintain close ties with them,” he quipped.
The Minister said the protest site should be relocated to another location from Galle Face, as it is an economic hub.
Chief Government Whip Ranatunga said the protest site at present is largely occupied by drug addicts.
“These irresponsible and lawless protesters should be removed from this site in order to prevent further illegal destructive activities and the situation should be brought under control. Many people are afraid to speak up against them for fear that their houses maybe burnt. However, I definitely think that this situation should be somehow brought under control. Otherwise, we will not be able to live peacefully in this country.”
He said this during the debate on the announcement of the Emergency Law.
He queried as to what kind of liberation the country can hope for with these protesting groups vandalising and putting their signatures on photos of historic significance at the President’s House.
Ranatunga said the people of this country joined the struggle wholeheartedly due to the economic crisis in the country, but they never expected such uncivilised behaviour from the protesters. He said as a result, the people are tired and fed up with the struggle now because of the unruly and destructive behaviour of the protesters. He also did not forget to thank the Security Forces and the Police for their commitment during the violence that broke out during the protest, even when they were treated in such a low-down degrading manner.
Ranatunga proposed that a separate event must be held to commend and show gratitude to the Security Forces and Police.
He insisted that these protesters must be controlled at all costs.
By Gagani Weerakoon and Methmalie Dissanayake