( December 15, 2014, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) A speech delivered by President Mahinda Rajapaksa over the weekend was cut-short following continous disruptions by the crowd, The Colombo Post reports.

"Rajapaksa, who was addressing a crowd in Dambulla, was forced to abandon his speech as members of the audience continued to disrupt him. According to eye-witnesses the President was forced to stop several times until the crowd grew silent before he continued. Finally Rajapaksa grew annoyed and announced that he could no longer continue his speech and that he would give way for them (the noisy audience members) to use the podium, he bid farewell to the crowd and left along with the rest of the contingent on the platform", the report added.

Sources within the government denied that the President was forced to cut his speech short, but instead he finished early as he had another meeting to attend.

Several weeks ago over 500 farmers from Dambulla protested along the main A9 road in Dambulla over the government's decision to import big onions from India. According to P. R. Senajayakody, a local farmer, members of the government buying agencies had instructed them not to sell their produce as prices were expected to fall. However, when they went to sell their produce in the market they were told the government had imported onions and there was a surplus and so they would not be able to buy the locally grown onions.

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