President shouldn’t repress protesters – Tilvin

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If President Ranil Wickremesinghe continues to repress and attack protesters, he will have to leave the position in the same way former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa did, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) General Secretary Tilvin Silva said.

Speaking to the media on Friday (19), at JVP Headquarters, Silva said, the President should resolve the economic, political, and social crises expeditiously.

“Instead, he is appeasing the Rajapaksa clan, by repressing the public,” he said.

Sri Lanka has turned away from democracy and is presently moving towards a repressive regime that denies the citizens of their fundamental rights, Silva said, adding that without solving the country’s pressing issues, the President is repressing the innocent people who voice their concerns.

“The President acts as if he is a ‘liberal’ when he is actually an oppressor,” he alleged.

He also mentioned about the arrests that were made by the Police on 18 August following a protest rally that was held by university students at Union Place, Colombo.

“The students held a peaceful protest, but they were dispersed with Police brutally. Tear gas, water cannons, and baton attacks were used to disperse them. Protesting is a right of the citizens, however, Wickremesinghe is waiting for them to take to the streets, so that he can attack them using the Security Forces,” Silva alleged.

He added that as the JVP, they condemn these brutal attacks on innocent people.

Further, Silva commented on Government attacks on journalists.

“We can see that journalists who are covering the protests are being assaulted. They are simply doing their job. It is their responsibility to show the people what is happening in the country. However, there were occasions where journalists were attacked and their equipment was destroyed,” he alleged.

The JVP strongly condemns these acts of the Government, he said.

Moreover, Silva alleged the Government is angry with citizens for ousting leaders.

Further, he said Parliament should be dissolved as soon as possible, and a new Government should be elected with the mandate of the people. He said the Jathika Jana Balawegaya (JJB) and JVP will fight until the needs of the people are met.

By Aloka Kasturiarachchi