Protestors mark the Birthday of Convenor of the Inter University Students’ Federation (IUSF), Wasantha Mudalige, outside the Terrorism Investigation Division (TID) Office in Narahenpita yesterday, where he is currently said to be detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA).

Lawyer and trade unionist, Swasthika Arulingam, calls for the release of Wasantha, Galwewa Siridhamma himi and Hashan Jeewantha and for the PTA to be repealed and not replaced by the National Security Act (NSA) or any other terror law. She also highlights how the repressive PTA has been historically used against Tamils and Muslims in Sri Lanka, to crush dissent and those standing up to the oppressive State.

Activist, Rajkumar Rajeevkanth said, “Today is Wasantha’s B’day and it also marks 32 days since his and 2 other students’ detention under the PTA. He is spending his b’day in isolation, with not even his family being able to be with him today. The PTA is very dangerous law – like poison. These are the future leaders of Sri Lanka, so if Ranil-Rajapaksa labels them as “terrorists”, there is no future for this country. These 3 students and all long term detainees of the PTA must be released.

Protestor from Gotagoyaya, Christopher Stephen said, we all agree that we are in need of a system change. Many people thought that once Ranil Wickremesinghe came into power – with his international relations, that nobody would be able to challenge him. But, what is the first thing he did when he came into power? He declared Emergency law. They (students) are not terrorists. Wasantha is not a terrorist. Wasantha and them are talking on behalf of the entire country.

Protestors also celebrated Wasantha’s Birthday near Diyatha Uyana yesterday. “These brutal leaders have detained Wasantha who fought on behalf of all the unborn children of this country. We tell them, you can imprison Wasantha, but, you cannot imprison this Spring (wasanthaya) that has dawned for us and our children. Long live the struggle,” said protestor, Piyath Nikeshala.

“We offer flowers and worship the mother of Wasantha for giving birth to such a courageous leader. Thank you amma (mother) for creating a son like him. We feel your pain, especially on a day like this, not being able to be with him, he must have constantly been on your mind. As I mother I say this with certainty, within these 3 months, all of us mothers will take to the streets to get him out,” said another protestor at Diyatha.

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