by Karu Jayasuriya
A situation is emerging in the country where, permission is needed from goons to engage in politics. It is well known that these gangs who suppress opposing political views using iron bars during the past era had the blessings of some politicians or politically powerful persons.
Now these goons are so powerful that they are bold enough to use automatic weapons to suppress those who profess a different political view from their political masters
This is clearly evident from the incident which took place at Katuwana, where a meeting organized by the JVP was attacked using automatic weapons. Goons left the site scot free, after killing two persons and damaging property.
This incident took place, whilst the government is preparing to hold elections after dissolving a few Provincial Councils. When the price of essential items including milk food, dhal and rice is soaring, people are paying a higher price for fuel; where the price of fuel has come down in the international market and masses are protesting in many ways against the increase in the cost of living. The government is adopting delaying tactics when people flood the streets demanding higher wages.
The government is moving towards a dictatorship in the guise of the 18th amendment, while gangs of goons are strengthening their power bases with the blessings of some politicians. When unarmed masses protest against the government, police react using bullets.
Roshan Chanaka, who became a victim of police bullets when he joined the protest rally at the Free Trade Zone at Katunayake and Anthony Fernando who sacrificed his life to police bullets at Chilaw, when fishermen protested on 15th February against the decision of the government to increase fuel prices; proved these facts.
A fisherman, father of 4 children, who lost a leg in the same assault by the police, committed suicide on 15th June, because he was unable to sustain his family after he became a disabled person. He could not bear to see his eldest son discontinuing his education to go fishing in the lagoon to sustain his family including his disabled father.
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We ask the government, when are you going to do justice to these people? When will you allow the authorities to apprehend those responsible for the Katuwana assault without simply relating fairy tales about the incident?
The trend where those who hold opposing political views are threatened by gangs of goons carrying illegal arms is not a healthy one. A similar shooting incident was reported in the Hambantota district during the last Presidential election, where a woman who was travelling in a bus to participate at a political meeting was killed.
It is evident from the Katuwana incident that goons carrying arms are still freely roaming about with the patronage of their political masters.
Also we consider that the assault at Katuwana is not aimed at a single political party but at all political parties professing different political views and fighting for the freedom of the people.
(Text of Statement issued by Karu Jayasuriya M.P. on 18th June 2012)
Karu Jayasuriya MP
United National Party