Saturday, 3 January 2015 03:38
Several injured in stone attack, rally dispersed
Candidate evacuated by security personnel
SLFP organiser for area denies role in attack
Opposition Candidate Maithripala Sirisena was whisked away from a campaign meeting in Pelmadulla yesterday after the rally was attacked as he was concluding a stump speech.
The candidate did not sustain injuries in the attack, the opposition said.
Security personnel surrounded the opposition candidate on stage and whisked him awaywhen the attackers attempted to throw stones at Sirisena as he was speaking. Several other UNP MPs had been present on stage when the attack began, eyewitnesses said.
The rally was dispersed as a result of the assault. At least six people were hospitalised after being injured in the attack.
“Government thugs attacked us,” Sirisena said as he was leaving the Pelmadulla rally. “Several people were injured in the attack,” the candidate added. The Opposition candidate who is challenging President Mahinda Rajapaksa in next week’s poll said his security officers had managed to keep him safe, but several people in the front rows had been injured in the attack.
“It is shameful that President Rajapaksa’s ‘democracy’ has sunk so low. This is how they ensure election laws are upheld,” he charged.
Sirisena headed towards his next meeting in Bandarawela, aides said, but opposition activists were concerned the attack could continue at his next campaign venue.
UPFA Provincial Minister and organiser for the area, Athula Kumara Rahubadda denied any role in the attack on the opposition rally and called on the police to arrest the perpetrators.