The main Opposition, Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) yesterday surmounted a beleaguered Rajapaksas-led Government mobilising disenchanted masses for a massive protest rally in Colombo.
Mounting protesters from Town Hall and Maligawatte, two strongholds of the SJB, thousands of people thronged the rallies which disrupted traffic as well as access to key places within the city.
Police and commandos resisted the forward march but the Opposition was relentlessly rejuvenated by the massive turnout inspired by what analysts described as unprecedented hardships faced by the commoners. Cries for “Gota go home” resonated through the rally despite armed forces patrolling the environs of the Presidential Secretariat. At the culmination of the mass protest, SJB and Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa called on the Rajapaksa Government to resign and hand over the governance of the country to his coalition of like-minded parties including MPs Champika Ranawaka, Muslim leaders Rauff Hakeem, Rishad Bathiudeen and Tamil leader Mano Ganeshan.
Addressing the ongoing mass rally, Premadasa urged the Government either to resign or face another Presidential election.
He said the SJB- led Government will not entertain any hidden deals or betrayal under its tenure. “We won’t cut deals with corrupt people and cronies but forge social contracts with the people,” a rejuvenated Premadasa declared. He emphasised that the SJB will defeat the Government with people’s power.
SJB Leader also assured that the city rally will be replicated at district and grassroots level and the agitation will not end until the corrupt and incompetent Rajapakasa regime call it quits.
Sajith described President Rajapaksa has turned out to be “wadi-karana” virauwa (hero who jacked up prices) and “enough his excellence” as against “His Excellency” the President.
The Opposition rallied masses easily given the unbearable cost of living and shortage of essential products and critical disruption of electricity supplies.