Massive crowds of people attended a protest march and rally that began at Hyde Park in Colombo this afternoon (Nov. 29) to demand freedom for former Army chief Sarath Fonseka and other political prisoners and protested over several more issues.
The protest march began from near Viharamaha Devi Park under the leadership of opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe.
The participants also shouted slogans to demand withdrawal of the expropriation act and against the government’s budget for 2012.
UNP co-deputy leader Karu Jayasuriya could not make it as he is overseas, but co-deputy leader Sajith Premadasa attended the demonstration.
"Today all of us in the United National Party have united for a single cause. Sarath Fonseka, the brave commander who saved our country is imprisoned as a political prisoner. Therefore this is the first step in the battle to release him and to ensure that he receives complete freedom without any conditions," said Sajith Premadasa.
"Sarath Fonseka is in prison today because he entered politics after those in the United National Party asked him to come forward during the Presidential Election. Hence, it is our duty as those in the UNP to do everything we can to save him. We must ensure that Democracy is protected and Sarath Fonseka is released," said Parliamentarian, Ranjith Maddumabandara
Party leaders including Mr. Wickremesinghe, Dr. Vickramabahu Karunaratne, Sarath Manamendra and Dr. K. Guruparan as well as journalist Kumara Alagiyawanna, convener of the of the Movement for the Freedom of Sarath Fonseka, addressed the rally.