For press freedom by Sunanda Deshapriya
By The Puppeteer
The only monkey wrench cast into the cogwheels of the Rally For Unity, was the circulation of leaflets opposing the highly publicised event. The leaflets contained the usual rhetoric, claiming that the organisers were traitors and that their facelessness should be of critical concern.
Only the organisers weren’t faceless. Sure, they weren’t one body but a group of different individuals, but that makes it far better.
I’ve reproduced a quick word for word translation of the leaflet I was sent, below.
Dear brothers and sisters,
Do you know that when you have come here to take part in this event you have been misled, without a clear understanding of those working behind this or knowing the true purpose of these actions without organisers and organisations?
Even though these actions organized through facebook friend groups say they are for national unity, you may not know that the people who organise these events are clearing the road for foreign forces to do away with the unitary nature of this country and carry us all towards destruction.
This is an event that will most definitely add to disunity among communities. It has been organized by a few people who depend on money from foreign organisations detrimental to this country to create the space for those organisations to get involved in internal issues of this country.
Anyone who visits the facebook page of this rally will see that it is being organised by a very well organised group. Even though this says it is for a Sri Lanka without racism, separatism, and hate, when one looks at the inside of this what you see is that this is an unsuccessful attempt to destablise the country by a few extremist individuals vested in ethnic and religious fundamentalism and depending on money from foreign forces.
If you are someone who came for this rally without proper knowledge, please look about you properly and see if the people who are walking in this march are people who committed themselves to national unity or a unitary country? No isn’t it? These people who were hiding when the country needed to be together and unitary, who have come out onto the streets to go on rallies aiming to destabilise the country now that the country is both unitary and together, aren’t they groups who are shadows of foreign forces?
Think for a moment, do you also want to be a part of the foreign forces which want to destabilise the country by taking part in such rallies?
Or will you be a true patriot who protects the country?
People’s Movement Against Extremism
Some Boys were distributing the flyers.There appear to have been around 11 or 12 of them. As soon as they were identified the police drove them away, but they did not allow the media to question the group.
Of course, it doesn’t end there. Somewhat unsurprisingly, the organisers of the Rally for Unity were followed post the event. A few men, some in a car and two others on motorbikes, tailed the group of organisers as they left Green Path and made their way to the Beira Lake.
The suspicious men then lingered at the Beira lake as the organisers– famished and on the ropes– had some refreshments at the Navy snack shop. When the team dispersed, the suspicious men continued to tail one of their cars.
This ominous end to the rally, goes to show that there is more to unfold in the approaching days. Let’s sit back and watch