There was pandemonium in the peace rally organized by the National Anti-War Front (NAWF) held Thursday evening at Viharamahadevi Park when a group of members of the Sinhala extreme National Bhikku Front (NBF) arrived at the site carrying a banner asking the organizers of the NAWF to proceed to Killinochchi to preach peace.
NBF activists thereafter climbed the stage and started shouting at the organizers of the peace rally.
Mervyn Silva, a deputy minister was on his feet with 200 other activists, politicians and religious leaders, including pro-peace Buddhist monks, on stage when NBF monks and their supporters entered the stage forcefully. Pandemonium reigned as NBF monks attempted to seize the mic of a speaker
At that time about two hundred personalities including parliamentarians, ministers and leaders of political parties were on the stage.
Fisticuffs ensued between the volunteers of NAWF and NBF. NBF protestors were pushed out of the stage forcibly by volunteers of the peace rally.
Thereafter the rally continued peacefully, although many parliamentarians and religious leaders left the site as the peace rally turned a site of violence.
However, some parliamentarians and peace activists spoke at the meeting and the meeting was concluded with the applause of the participants.
NBF is a wing of all monks party-Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU).
Large number of people of all three communities and representatives of all faiths participated in the peace in Colombo, Thursday, under the auspices of National Anti-War Front.
The peace foot march which commenced from Hyde Park in Colombo at about 2.30 p.m. arrived at Viharamahadevi Park around 3.45 p.m.
Parliamentarians Dilan Perera of Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), Rajitha Senaratne United National Party (UNP), T.Maheswaran of UNP, Ravi Karunanayake of UNP, M.S.Sellasamy of Ceylon Workers Congress), P.Radhakrishnan of Western Peoples Front and Dr. Kumar Rupesinghe and pro-peace Buddhist monks led the peace march.