Oct 28, Colombo: Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party (UNP) internally fractured over its leadership is planning to hold a massive protest campaign in Colombo to protest against the government on several issues.
The demonstration, against the government's casino bill and several other current issues, will be held on November 7 at 3:00 p.m. in front of the Fort Railway Station in Colombo, General Secretary of UN parliamentarian Tissa Attanayake said at a media briefing today.
According to Attanayake the party will join hands with other opposition political parties, United Front and civil societies to launch the protest campaign against the government. The party is now discussing with other opposition parties to get their support for the demonstration.
The protest is mainly aimed at demanding the government to completely remove the casino bill.
The party secretary said although the Investment Promotions Minister said the bill is suspended temporarily, the government plans to introduce the bill again within a month.
The opposition wants the complete removal of the bill that according to them is aimed at giving too much tax concessions to the investors of the casino projects.
The protest also demands the government to mete out justice to the Rathupaswala residents, who still don't have clean drinking water.
The MP said the justice has not been meted out to the residents yet and they are still threatened by the factory owners somehow trying to continue their operations at the location.
Reinstating the 17th Amendment to the Constitution to establish independent commissions and raising salaries for the working masses in the 2014 budget are the other demands of the protest campaign.
The General Secretary invited all the opposition parties, trade unions and civil organizations to join the opposition protest on November 7.
Sources close to the UNP said that although several minor parties like old leftists might participate in the protest, the party split may have a negative impact on the protest.
Attanayake however said the Working Committee of the party will meet on November 04 and the discussions between the party leader Ranil Wickremasinghe and former deputy leaders Sajith Premadasa and Karu Jayasuriya on restructuring the party will conclude before the Working Committee meeting.
The discussions on the leadership issue will be finished and the decisions have to be submitted to the Executive Committee this week for it to take a final decision on the issue, Attanayake said.