Waving banners, crowds of demonstrators move through the streets of Colombo to a rally organised by Left-wing trade unions.
Waving banners, crowds of demonstrators move through the streets of Colombo to a rally organised by Left-wing trade unions. The giant procession, which took an hour to pass, massed on Galle Face Green to hear speeches from political leaders.
The crowd, most of whom were industrial workers, were warned that an attempt may be made "to subvert democracy and establish a dictatorial regime under emergency regulations."
Dr. N.M.Perera, the former opposition leader who presided at the meeting, said: "Parliament has been prorogued and the Government is facing a crisis. Political adventurists may try to stage a coup and establish a dictatorship".
Most of the speakers stressed the importance of trade union unity, saying that the unity so far demonstrated augured well for the winning of the 21 union demands -- mostly pay rises -- that led the Ceylonese Government to proclaim a national emergency earlier this month.
In reply, the Government has warned that pay rises would bring "wage-induced inflation" and an increase in price of all domestically-produced and improved goods.