Police remove vehicles near Temple Trees


Police yesterday (4), removed their buses and trucks that were parked on the pavement next to Temple Trees in Colombo.

They informed the protesters in the morning that the Court issued an order to vacate the premises.

However, the protesters alleged that it was not them, but the Police that had lined buses and trucks on the pavement next to Temple Trees to obstruct the peaceful protest campaign and then misled the Court.

Meanwhile, Colombo Fort Additional Magistrate Manjula Ratnayake, yesterday (4) issued notice on the Attorney General and the OIC of the Kollupitiya Police Station, to appear in Court and make submissions, as to their failure to implement an order issued to remove all buses and vehicles parked in front of Temple Trees as well as unauthorised structures put up by protesters at the site.

Having considered a motion filed by a group of respondents, the Additional Magistrate noticed the AG and the OIC of the Kollupitiya Police Station, to be present in Court on 9 May and produce submissions in this regard.

The lawyers for the respondents told the Court, that the Police had obtained an order on 2 April towards the removal of buses and vehicles parked in front of Temple Trees, along with unauthorised structures at the site, as it hinders and obstructs the public who use the pavement and roads daily.

They charged that the Kollupitiya Police, had to date failed to carry out the order issued by the Court.

The lawyers informed Magistrate Ratnayake, that the Constitution has guaranteed the right for the public to air their views as they deem fit.

They explained that the public have not been obstructed in any manner due to the conduct of the protesters at the protest site.

They also argued that the protesters had also not resorted to any form of violence at the protest site thus far.

The lawyers alleged that the Police had submitted false and fabricated information to Court, with the aim of obtaining its order and hence they prayed the Court to issue an order to invalidate its order issued previously to the Police.

Taking the submissions into consideration, the Court said it also needs to hear the submissions from the prosecution as well and fixed further hearing of the case for 9 May.

The Police have named Vimukthi Dushantha, Roshan Ali Baker Ali, Ven. Puliyakulame Sumanarathana Thera and Ven. Ambatenne Wimaladassi Thera as respondents.

Meanwhile, a Fundamental Rights Petition was filed before the Supreme Court yesterday (14) seeking an order preventing obstruction of the peaceful protests in front of Temple trees including the disturbance caused to protesters by the use of loudspeakers for the chanting of Pirith.

The Petition was filed by a Kalutara resident Shanika Silva and a resident of Battaramulla Eranga Gunasekera.

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, OIC of the Kollupitiya Police, DIG Jagath Palihakkara, the IGP, and the AG were named as respondents to the Petition.

By Hansi Nanayakkara and Kamal Mahendra Weeraratne