THE BIGGEST RALLY (99 Aug 25)
On Saturday the twenty first the PA, rather the SLFP, celebrated five years in office in grand style. According to many commentators it was the biggest gathering of people in recent history. The buses belonging to the peopolised bus services had been used to bring thousands and thousands of people to Kolomba. The ministers, deputy ministers, MPs, the part organisers of the SLFP had used everything in their power to transport people to the Sugathadasa stadium. Many major roads were closed for the occasion and there were traffic jams extending for miles at certain places. The crowed gathered at the stadium marched from there to the Havelock park in Thimbirigasyaya, where the president and the other leaders addressed the meeting.
The LSSP and the CP did not participate officially but the ministers and the MPs from those two parties were at the meeting. The president in her speech outlined a twenty one-point program for the country. She said among other things that the "war" will be over by next year and called upon the UNP and the JVP to cooperate with the government to solve the "ethnic problem". It is estimated that the PA had spent more than Rs. fifty million from the public funds for the celebrations.