Joint Opposition’s protest led by Namal Rajapaksa ended about 12 am yesterday.
But the organizers of the protest including Namal Rajapaksa had said a few days ago that the Joint Opposition (JO) is coming to Colombo to surround and spend a night in the city.
However, the protest did not attract many participants as Namal Rajapaksa expected, and eventually the organizers failed to manage their supporters. Some had already left Colombo by 6 pm yesterday, and when former President Mahinda Rajapaksa addressed the crowd, there were very few supporters.
The organizers finally decided to end the protest at 12 am, even though they had initially planned to continue it until 10 am today. Ultimately, the protesters who came to protest against the government, protested against the organizers including Namal Rajapaksa.
Most people who participated in the protest stated that the protest had been organized without a vision or a systematic plan. Even though they had planned to stay in Colombo for several hours, Namal Rajapaksa and team had failed to provide at least the basic facilities. The protesters stated: “we came for Mahinda, but there are no toilets for us to use.”
The protesters had not been informed of an exact venue and therefore various groups supporting the protest had gathered near Lake House, Fort, Maligawatte, Maradana and Town Hall.
While the ordinary protesters expressed disapproval, Namal Rajapaksa had to face certain leaders of the JO. Many Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) leaders did not participate in the protest yesterday, and many party leaders representing the JO also refrained from supporting the protest. It was also a reason for low participation.
When Mahinda Rajapaksa addressed the protesters yesterday night, many councilors who usually support him were not there. There were only Mahindananda and Wimal Weerawansa. Wimal Weerawansa was not as active and energetic as usual.