We are concerned by reports of violence in SL – UN official in SL

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Developments in the recent protest in Mirihana are being monitored, says UN Resident Coordinator in Sri Lanka, Hanaa Singer-Hamdy.

“We are monitoring developments and are concerned by reports of violence in #SriLanka. Calling for restraint from all groups,” she tweeted.

On the 31st night of March, the public stormed Mirihana in front of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s residence down Pengiriwatte Road, Mirihana, against the current economic crisis.

In response, the Anti-Riot Police and Traffic Police immediately tightened security around the President’s residence, using barricades and anti-riot units including water riot trucks. The Sri Lanka Army also arrived later at the scene.

Commenting on the incident, the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) said that individuals involved in the protest cannot be arrested and prosecuted under the Prevention of Terrorism Act.

They can only be arrested under the Public Property Act, the Commission said, adding that the protest cannot be classified as an act of terrorism and the only damage caused was to public property.

Further, a special team of officers from the HRCSL had visited the Mirihana Police to investigate the arrests made in connection with the incident, with the aim of monitoring the safety of the arrestees and whether they have been tortured while in police custody.