AG instructs IGP to conduct fully-fledged probe

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Attorney General Sanjay Rajaratnam has advised the IGP to conduct a fully-fledged investigation into incidents of unlawful interference with people’s constitutional rights, the circumstances that led to them, and the subsequent commission of criminal offences.

In a letter to the IGP, the Attorney General said, because the incident in Metropolitan Colombo triggered sporadic acts of serious violence involving people and property all over the country, he advised the Police Chief to conduct additional investigations into the incidents.

He urged the IGP to complete the investigation as soon as possible.

The letter stated that people, in the exercise of their constitutional rights as guaranteed in terms of Articles 14 (1) (a), (b), and (c) of the Constitution, have been engaged in freedom of speech, peaceful assembly, and association, at various places in the country over the past few weeks. In this regard, it is the constitutional duty of all organs of Government, to respect, secure, and advance the fundamental rights in terms of Article 4 (d) of the Constitution.

However, the peaceful assemblies of protest were interfered by a large group of people in breach of the Constitution and the Penal Code as could be seen from the incidents that occurred in Colombo on 9 May. The unlawful interference was seen to have been carried out in the form of physical assault of serious nature causing bodily injury to those who engaged in the exercise of their constitutional freedoms.

“Having regard to the serious nature of the matters involved, I advise you to conduct fully-fledged investigations into the incidents of unlawful interference in people’s constitutional rights, the circumstances that led to them, and the consequent commission of penal offences in the process. As the incidents in Metropolitan Colombo have triggered sporadic acts of violence of serious nature involving people and their property all over the country, I advise you further to investigate the aftermath of the incidents of 9 May. Considering domestic and international ramifications that surround these incidents, I would urge you to complete investigations on urgent priority basis,” the letter said.

Meanwhile, the CID has been tasked with investigating the attack on peaceful protestors at the GotaGoGama protest site at Galle Face.

By Thameenah Razeek