Protest march against Gulf attacks

[TamilNet, Saturday, 19 December 1998, 14:18 GMT]
About 2000 people marched along the streets of Vavuniya, protesting at the US and UK attacks on Iraq. The march was organised by the PLOTE, a paramilitary group which operates with the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) against the Liberation Tigers.

The shops in the main street of the town were closed when the marching took place.

The demonstrators also set fire to effigies of Bill Clinton and Tony Blair and the national flags of their countries.

Memorandums by the military commander (and de facto leader) of PLOTE, N.Manikkadasan and the Islamic Cultural Development Society in Vavuniya to be sent to the President of Sri Lanka, and the High Commissions of UK, US and Iraq were handed over to the Additional Government Agent of Vavuniya, S.Ragunathapillai.

Following is the full text of the memorandum by the Islamic Cultural Society of Vavuniya:

"Going to war with Iraq again clearly shows the US government's double standard policy of covering up for Israel which has violated the highest number of UN resolutions. Whatever your political motives are, you cannot punish the peace loving people of Iraq under the pretext of forcing that country to abide by the United Nations Security Council resolutions.

This time, the world community will not watch in desperation the destruction of the centre of ancient Arab civilisation.

Therefore, we the citizens of Vavuniya, in Sri Lanka join hands with the majority of countries world over and call upon your government to give up these sinister motives and continue to search for a solution to the present crisis.

We also earnestly request that all your forces be withdrawn from the sea of Gulf and the Middle East with immediate effect.

Once again we urge the government of the United States to consult the Security Council and all other concerned bodies of the United Nations to sit with the Iraq's Ambassador in the UN and reach a peaceful solution to this dreadful crisis especially in view of the forthcoming Ramzan."

 

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