Leader of the Opposition Sajith Premadasa who headed to the Fort Police Station today (04) to check on trade union leader Joseph Stalin who was arrested by the Police questioned why trade union leaders who protest peacefully and disciplined are being hunted down while people like Mahinda Rajapaksa, the pilot of the current violent repression, are still at large and left free.
Speaking to media, the Opposition Leader emphasised that people like Stalin who fought for the working people and the teachers of the country are put in jail, while Mahinda Rajapaksa, who he called the ‘Father of Repression‘, is spending a good and healthy time. Premadasa thereby condemned the arbitrary arrests and political hunting at a time everyone should think about the country and work together in the name of humanity, and demanded that this state-sponsored terrorism be stopped immediately.
Recalling the statement made by President Ranil Wickremesinghe when he was still a Member of Parliament, the Opposition Leader questioned whether it would not be the case today, when he had said that arresting Stalin might ‘lose’ the GSP relief from the European Commission.
Problems should be resolved not with weapons like bombs, swords and bullets, but through negotiations and consensus, Premadasa went on, adding that it was former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa who had instigated the cycle of violence.
He stressed that every citizen has the right to stand up for and advocate his or her opinion and stage peaceful protests and that no one can violate the right to protest without violence. Trade Union Leader Joseph Stalin democratically used his right for the country and no one can stand against it, he added.