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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2678

Rupesinghe’s anti-war movement with TNA and UNP converted Raviraj’s funeral into a highly politicized rally

By Walter Jayawardhana

Colombo, 14 November, (Asiantribune.com): Activists of the National Anti-War Front led by Kumar Rupasinghe collaborated mainly by the Tamil National Alliance, the United National Party and the new Left Front shouted slogans accusing the Mahinda Rajapaksa government for the murder of Nadaraja Raviraj in a highly politicized slogan shouting funeral procession.

The demonstration organizers said although various political parties were invited to participate, the ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) and Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) were not invited to represent themselves at the slogan shouting and placard carrying funeral procession turned political demonstration.

The BBC’s Sinhala Service broadcast a statement from the organizers of the Kumar Rupasinghe led rally revealed that only a selected few were chosen from the Sri Lanka Freedom Party to be present in the anti-government rally.

One of them was the DeputyMminister of Justice Dilan Perera who in his statement said that the way to respect the late Raviraj was to come up with a political solution to the country’s national problem and to provide an anti-war cry to be heard in the streets for those who believed in war.

The Government’s Minister’s statement was an obvious reference to the country’s Army, the Anti-War Front was publicly condemning.

Making a statement on behalf of the political rally, according to the BBC’s Sandeshaya, the Secretary General of the United National Party Tissa Attanayaka said the United National Party did not cooperate with the government to bomb from the air or murder people.

He categorically stated the UNP’s future support to the government would depend on not to approve the war.

A crusader working for the Rupesinghe movement Ms. Nimalka Fernando said the war was making Sri Lanka into a state of widows. She said although people thought that the pro-war … pro-Fascist system had ended in 1994, but it is still continuing.

Although the areas run under the control of the LTTE are called a region under Fascist rule often by many the anti-War activist but on the contrary Nimalka Fernando calls the Sri Lanka Government’s rule as a “Fascist rule.”

According to reports about 3000 people belonging to the UNP, TNA, New left Front and other allied groups participated in the slogan shouting funeral rally.

An agency report said, "Tamil National Alliance (TNA) party accused the government of trying to sabotage the demonstration by blocking buses transporting mourners and sympathizers to the capital."

"They are preventing people attending the rally," legislator Suresh Premachandran said. "We have information that buses were turned away at Puttalam (in the northwest)."

The organizers were apparently disappointed since a leading organizer, the UNP parliamentarian, Rajitha Senaratne said a day before that they expected a crowd of 20,000 people for the anti-government protest but only a fraction of it was present.

The President Mahinda Rajapaksa , was a personal friend of the slain parliamentarian and has condemned the killing. He ordered airlifting of the remains of the casket of late Nadaraja Raviraj and his family for the funeral rites and cremations at Chavakachcheri to be held on Wednesday.

- Asian Tribune -

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