Repressive tactics are vile acts of cowards – Tilvin Silva
“The socio-economic-political factors that force people to protest should be changed. The people of our country take to the streets because the government does not find answers to the questions they are burdened with. It is not because of strength that the weapon of repression is taken up. It is because of weakness. Ranil Wickramasinghe is not brave but dastardly. These are vile, cowardly moves. Strong governments are not afraid of protests. If the government is weak, they fear even small protests. Ranil Wickramasinghe’s entry into the government has increased the weakness. The government formed by anti-Ranil people weakened even more after Ranil took over. Ranil Wickramasinghe is afraid of protests,” says General Secretary of the JVP Tilvin Silva.
He said this while addressing a press conference held at the JVP head office at Pelawatta today (31st).
General Secretary of the JVP said, “After Ranil Wickramasinghe got the post of President, they are following the practice of suppressing the people by attacking the protests continuously according to the wishes of the Rajapaksas. We have emphasized this on several occasions before. After attacking a peaceful protest of the Inter-University Student Union, three people, including its convener Wasantha Mudalige, were arrested and detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. Yesterday (30th) also the demonstration organized by the students and union alliance in protest was attacked.
We ask the President what will happen to the people’s right to peaceful protest if they attack the protests to stop the repression. As soon as the protestors started to assemble for the demonstration yesterday, it was attacked. A large police force had been deployed, and around 28 people were arrested. When the police officers went to court to block the right to express opinions and hold peaceful protests, which are confirmed by the constitution, those demands were rejected. The court ruled that those engaged in non-peaceful actions can be arrested.
Ranil Wickramasinghe attacks the protest as soon as it starts to fulfill the wishes of the Rajapaksas and get rid of his anger. the police officers will have to show courts what illegal moves took place during the protests, and when they cannot do so, they will have to face the consequences. We emphasize to the government to respect the right to peaceful protest and the right to express opinions.
Mahinda Rajapaksa used that right when he was in the opposition. Ranil Wickramasinghe also did the same. It is a serious situation if a right that was used while in the opposition becomes illegal when they come to power. We again demand an immediate end to this repression. At least there was no exchange of words with the police yesterday. The police did not even give a warning before they attacked. After the protest demonstration, a meeting was held, and they prepared to disperse. By suppressing people’s opposition, not only Rajapaksa but also Ranil Wickramasingha will not be able to find a way forward. We demand the unconditional release of all those detained using the Prevention of Terrorism Act.
Ranil Wickramasinghe, who has got the temporary presidency by chance, is unable to find the reasons for the people’s uprising and provide solutions. Instead of looking for solutions, they increase the problems. Ranil Wickramasingha boasted that he had eliminated fuel queues. Now even when the QR code is given, there are queues. They are not able to bring fuel to the people on time. Even after raising the price too much, even when people consume very little, they have not been able to bring the necessary fuel. Apart from this, while the electricity bill has also been greatly increased, the price of kerosene has increased by 253 rupees simultaneously. A litre of kerosene is now 340 rupees. Water charges will also be increased and the VAT will be increased from 12% to 15%. Sri Lanka ranks fifth among the countries with the highest inflation in the world. Food inflation has jumped to 91%. There is a shortage of goods. In this situation, Ranil Wickramasinghe knows that the people’s protests that stopped temporarily will return. Ranil Wickramasinghe knows that the same thing that happened to Gotabaya Rajapaksa can happen to him after those protests. Therefore, it is clear to us that they are trying to stop the protests as soon as they start.
The socio-economic and political factors that force people to protest should be changed. The people of our country take to the streets because the government does not find answers to the questions they are burdened with. It is not because of strength that the weapon of repression is taken up. It is because of weakness. Ranil Wickramasinghe is not brave but dastardly. These are vile, cowardly moves. Strong governments are not afraid of protests. If the government is weak, they fear even small protests. Ranil Wickramasinghe’s entry into the government has increased the weakness. The government formed by anti-Ranil people weakened even more after Ranil took over. Ranil Wickramasinghe is afraid of protests. If those who were in the struggle are hunted down, if the Prevention of Terrorism Act is implemented, it is the people who can stop these situations. Therefore, we say to the people that the government should not be given this break. There is no solution without defeating this government. People’s rights cannot be won by such a wicked, failed, frightened and shocked government.
They will not stop the repression. Already several human rights cases referring to Sri Lanka have already been filed. The UN Human Rights Commission will meet in Geneva next month. For the first time in history, a large number of Sri Lankans will go before the commission and ask them to intervene to stop the repression and dissolve the parliament.
The government is scared that it will fall even with a very small agitation. The government that is trying to suppress the people fighting against the economic crisis’s imposition on the people should be defeated as soon as possible. Therefore, Ranil Wickramasingha, who follows the same path as the Rajapaksas, does not have a mandate to rule the country. Therefore, we should win an election soon and form a government that has humanity and listens to the people’s voice and protects human rights. The only thing left for us is to oust the government that is oppressing the people. Ranil Wickramasinghe, who appeared as the embodiment of good governance and democracy, has lost his mask. Now he is exhibiting barbaric tribal characteristics. All we have to do is to oust the government that is oppressing the people and trying to stay for the rest of the time. The hatred of the people has only intensified due to the repression. As Gorky said, the truth cannot be killed by drowning it in an ocean of blood. We demand the government to stop its repression and invite the people to come forward without fear.”
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