Protesters refuse to leave Galle Face until Ranil steps down

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They do not want to inconvenience people who come to relax at Viharamaha Devi Park

By Pradeep Prasanna Samarakoon and Sujeewa Thathsara

Anti-government protests will not shift to Viharamaha Devi Park, Convener of the Inter University Students Federation (IUSF) Wasantha Mudalige said yesterday.

“We will protest where we want. It is our constitutional right,” he said.

The government has said that it will allocate Viharamaha Devi Park, etc., for protesters.

Mudalige added that they would continue to protest until Ranil Wickremesinghe stepped down.

“Wickremesinghe and his allies are not capable of finding solutions to the economic woes of the country. Has he proposed a plan? Before becoming Prime Minister his acolytes insisted that he would bring in billions of dollars through his connections. Where is the money?” he asked.

The IUSF convener said that some Ministers wanted the protestors to move to Viharamaha Devi Park. The protesters are not ready to move and their presence was not an obstruction to the people, he said.

“No one can say where people should protest. The government must show us that they have a plan. But it seems that the only plan they have is suppression,” Mudalige said.

He added that people will be greatly inconvenienced if protests are held in Viharamaha Devi Park. “This is one of the few places where people in Colombo can come and relax. It’s an oasis of trees and nature. Children come there to play. There are art exhibitions and events there. Does the government not know this? Do they think that if we are not seen, people’s troubles will lessen?” he said.

Mudalige said that the international media had portrayed the protests positively and young people from around the world have expressed solidarity with Sri Lankan youth. “If anything, protests have made Sri Lanka look good internationally,” he said.

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Disclaimer: Protesters refuse to leave Galle Face until Ranil steps down - Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect point-of-view

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