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President’s message to ‘Aragalaya’ : “I request the peaceful strugglers to vacate the unauthorized places”

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Some groups are trying to spread huge propaganda through social media that I am hunting down anti-government protesters, but it is not true, President Ranil Wickremesinghe said in Parliament today.

Delivering the Government’s National Policy, the President said he will not allow any kind of prejudice against peaceful activists and will establish an office to protect the peaceful protesters, and support them.

“If any injustice occurs to a peaceful activist, that person can call the 24-hour dedicated line and file a complaint. A Committee headed by a retired judge will examine the complaints and take necessary measures, accordingly,” he said. 

President Wickremesinghe further said that if there are individuals who have participated in such illegal activities either unknowingly or due to the influence of others, a plan will be prepared to act sympathetically towards them.

However, if there are individuals who intentionally violate the law and engage in violent and terrorist acts, legal action will be taken against them, he warned. “I will not allow anyone to act outside the law. The law is the same for you, me, and everyone”.

The President revealed that the law will be applied equally to the people who attacked the peaceful protesters on 09th May and those who are engaging in violence and terrorism under the guise of the struggle.

“I will ensure that there is no political intervention in this process,” he assured.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe said the struggle that started all over Colombo expecting system change was later centralized in Galle Face and this was expanded to several major cities on the island. 

This struggle was conducted on a non-violent basis and creative manner. These activists did not commit any act of violence. Therefore, families joined the struggle to express their protests. Parents were not afraid to even bring children to places of protest. Protesters once digitally illuminated the walls of the Presidential Secretariat, without any harm. 

He said that later this non-violence was suppressed and violence emerged, with certain politicized groups that became stakeholders. By indulging in violence the protests turned towards terrorism.

“I do not allow violence and terrorism. However, will protect non-violence and democracy. The peaceful struggle is a fundamental right. I accept those rights,” the President added.

He further revealed that currently, places have been allocated by the Colombo and Kandy Municipal Councils for peaceful protests. 

Municipal councils are also acting in order to provide the necessary facilities for the activists who are protesting in those places. 

So I kindly request the people not to stay in unauthorized places anymore, and therefore, request the peaceful strugglers to vacate the unauthorized places and assist to maintain law and order. We look forward to your support in building the Sri Lankan nation, the President said.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe also pointed out that there are groups spreading violence near fuel stations. 

He said complaints are being received about people breaking the queue by force, without allowing the people who have been in the queue for days to obtain fuel. 

Such unruly conduct cannot be allowed. The limited amount of fuel that we can provide must be fairly distributed. I have directed the Inspector General of Police to strictly enforce the law against people who interfere with queues.

The President also noted that a number of major Buddhist and Hindu religious festivals are held in the month of August. These festivals are one of the reasons for increasing the tourist arrivals this month.

Although, some groups are trying to disrupt these festivals by creating a turbulent background in the country. The security forces are keeping an eye on such behavior. 

President Ranil Wickremesinghe requested everyone not to fall into such traps that contribute to destroying the future of the country. (NewsWire)

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