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Sri Lanka: Thousands gather in capital Colombo to protest against govt policies

Protesters gathered from all over the country have plans to stay during the night to press for their demands. The protests remained peaceful as hundreds of security personnel were deployed to avoid inconvenience to public.However, schools closed early and several offices remained closed in view of the protests.

The protest march titled ‘Jana Balaya Kolambata’ or ‘People’s power to Colombo’ was organized against the selling of national assets, the increasing cost of living, mounting taxes and the deterioration of cultural values.

JO leader and MP Dinesh Gunawardane said they want to remind the government that it no longer has a mandate to rule the country in the wake of defeat in the local government elections. A government minister, however, asserted that the protest was in fear of special courts system established by government to expedite legal cases against former regime.

 JO, after registering victory at the local body polls held in February, has been pressing for early conduct of Parliamentary elections for a fresh mandate. However, Parliament term ends in August 2020 and elections cannot be held before February 2020 unless two-thirds of MPs vote to dissolve the Parliament.

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