Oct 05, Matara: The dissident group of Sri Lanka's major opposition United National Party (UNP), that had organized a protest walk from Matara to Colombo to urge the party leader Ranil Wickremasinghe to resign, has decided to suspend the walk following the attack by the supporters of the party leader.
Matara Magistrate Court issued an order to stop the demonstration since it might cause public unrest.
Chief organizer of the demonstration Southern Provincial Councilor Maithri Gunaratna told media that the demonstration had been suspended and the future action would be announced shortly.
The protest started from the Vishnu Temple at Dondra in Matara this morning and was proceeding to Colombo when mobs armed with clubs attacked the demonstrators at Matara.
Several people were injured as gun shots were fired and several vehicles were damaged.
Hospital sources said seven people were admitted to the Matara Hospital and three were with gunshot injuries. Among the injured was a southern provincial councilor of UNP.
The police arrested the father of UNP Southern Provincial Councilor Maithri Gunaratne, Herman Gunaratne on suspension of the shooting. Senior Gunaratne was also injured in the clash and receiving treatment when the police arrested him.
However the protest march proceeded to Kamburugamuwa after the clash before the magistrate ordered to halt the demonstration.
The first lap of the walk was to be up to Weligama. Then it was to proceed to Galle on the second day, third day to Hikkaduwa, fourth day to Kosgoda, fifth day to Katukurunda, sixth day to Moratuwa and the last day from Moratuwa to Colombo.
The protesters had also planned to collect one million signatures to a petition urging Wickremasinghe to resign.