SLFP rallies in Colombo and the outstations
To counter the much publicised Janarala rally of the UNP which was held on Thursday, the SLFP staged a number of counter rallies island-wide. Several front-line organisations joined hands with the SLFP in staging successful rallies on Thursday afternoon, the same day UNPers staged a massive demonstration against the government, highlighting the cost of living issue.
Minister of Petroleum and Petroleum Resources A.H.M.Fowzie who led the SLFP protests in Colombo said that whatever the UNP claims were, the government was not going to be deterred from its goal of working toward victory on the ethnic issue. He signaled out the Opposition Leader as a man with a record of defeats at the polls and insisted that it was high time he quit the arena of politics as he would never be able to stage a come back.
Among posters carried at the rallies were “We were victorious in the east, and we will capture the north soon”.
The claim by the Leader of the Opposition, that the victory at Thoppigala was over barren land and a forest was decried with a counter claim that it was a national victory which signalled a total victory for the motherland would follow.
Minister Fowzie admitted that Government was aware of the high cost of living. He said measures were being taken to ease the burden on the people. He promised the ruling party would continue the war till the north was won. The rally at Battaramulla was led by Education Minister Susil Premjayantha.
Besides the rally at Colombo the SLFP showed its strength in the outstations. Rallies were held at Piliyandala, Maharagama and Homagama. Alavi Moulana, Governor of the Western Province led the rally at Homagama. Upali Kodikara, provincial councillor of the Western province led the rally at Maharagama. There was also a massive gathering of party supporters at the Piliyandala rally.
Rallies were also held in the outstations, at Gampaha, Matara, Kalutara, Kandy, Kurunegala Matale, Dambulla, Badulla, Ampara, Pollonnaruwa, Anuradhapura, Nuwara Eliya, Galle, Hambantota, Kegalle, Puttalam as well as at Ratnapura with MPs and Ministers participating.