Anti-war protests in Colombo, North-East.
[TamilNet, Friday, 21 March 2003, 20:11 GMT]
Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in Colombo, after Friday's Jummah prayers, protesting the US-led war on Iraq. Government and opposition parliamentarians, including those from the Janata Vimukti Peramuna, took part in the protest, sources said.
A Muslim father and his child are carrying the anti-American placard.
After prayer at the Dawataga Palliya Mosque near Town Hall in Colombo, protestors carrying anti-US banners and shouting slogans marched to Lipton Square. They burnt US flags at Lipton Square and marched toward the Maligawatta Mosque, the sources said.
The marchers carried a huge banner that said, "Stop the war against Iraq!"
In Colombo, parliamentarians from the Sri Lanka Fredom Party (SLFP), the Janta Vimukti Peramuna (JVP) and the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) participated in the protests.
Thousands of demonstrators march from Town Hall Dawattaga Palliya Mosque to Maligawatta Muslim Mosque.
Demonstration in Colombo organised by the “Joint Organization Against American Aggression on Iraq.”
Participants included Mangala Samaraweera and M.A. Hisabulla of the SLFP, Wimal Weerawansa, Bimal Rathnayaka and Vijitha Herath of the JVP, Noordeen Mashoor of the SLMC and Western Provincial Governor Mr. Alavi Moulana.
Leaders and activists of the Sri Lanklan Communist Party, the Lanka Sama Samaja Party and many Muslim organizations also took part in the demonstration. Special Task Forces personnel were on guard at the American Embassy, the sources said.
Meanwhile, protests were also held in the North-East province, sources said. About one hundred Muslims in Jaffna marched from the mosque to the bus terminal, where they burnt down the US flag and an effigy of US President George W.Bush.
In the Trincomalee town, hundreds of Muslims held two processions holding
placards and shouting slogans against America for launching the war on Iraq.
In the first procession, starting at the Mohideen Jumma Mosque, several hundred Muslims went on procession through the Ehambaram Road and the Central Road.
Protest in Trincomalee.
The Muslims of Jamaliya in the Uppuveli area conducted the second procession,
sources said. The demonstrators burnt down the American national flag and an effigy of President Bush at the end of their processions, sources said. A general shut down (hartal) was observed in Mutur on Friday.