Man who set himself on fire in Sri Lanka protest dies

July 27th, 2010 - 11:39 am ICT by IANS  

Colombo, July 27 (DPA) A man who set himself on fire near the headquarters of Sri Lanka’s main opposition party died of his injuries Tuesday, a hospital spokesman said.
The man, identified as Reinzie Algama, immolated himself Monday to protest moves to remove the current leader of the United National Party (UNP), Ranil Wickremesinghe, from his position.

Algama poured a bottle of petrol over himself in front of the office in Pitakotte, eight km south of the city, and ignited it, party general secretary Tissa Attanayake said.

He had earlier in the day been chanting slogans that Wickremesinghe should not be removed from the party leadership.

“We are very sad about the incident as this man loved the party very much and was against any division in the party,” Attanayake said.

Some younger members of the UNP have been demanding a change in the leadership, after Wickremesinghe’s party suffered a succession of electoral defeats since 2001, including two presidential elections, two parliamentary elections and local elections.

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