The legal fraternity called for immediate action to be taken to impose travel ban on former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and others who instigated the mob attack on non-violent protesters opposite Temple Trees and at Galle Face Green on Monday (9).
The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL), while observing that Rajapaksa cannot absolve himself of the accusation of instigating the mob,
demanded the immediate arrest of all persons who instigated, conspired to unleash the violent mob from the Temple Trees and participated
in the violence,irrespective of the positions they held in the Government or of their family connections and for immediate travel bans be obtained against such persons by the Police.
They also called for a comprehensive investigation into the attacks on peaceful protesters and for an independent inquiry to be conducted into the failure of the authorities, including the Sri Lanka Police, to prevent and restrain the mob violence including that which was unleashed from Temple Trees.
“Video footage shows several senior politicians instigating the crowd which had gathered inside Temple Trees to engage in violence,”the BASL added.
BASL observed that it is a matter of grave concern that the Police failed to take action to halt the mob and to take necessary steps to quell the mob adding that previously the Sri Lanka Police sought and obtained orders from Courts on marches and processions relating to the protests against the Government, but failed miserably to take any action against the mob at Temple Trees.
“The unleashing of violence from Temple Trees has further eroded confidence in the entire regime including the President and seriously jeopardised efforts to restore political and economic stability,”the BASL noted.
Meanwhile, Attorney Gunaratne Wanninayake reiterated that prompt action should be taken to prevent Rajapaksa from fleeing the country, while questioning why the State Intelligence failed to intercept the clash.He added the video footages of the series of events leading to the clash depict that the attack was well-organised.
“Police gave way for the clash that led to the inhumane attack on innocent protesters and if the Police was eager to put an end to the clash, they should have deployed two CTB buses to the bridge near the Indian High Commission in Colombo at the initial stage but they failed to do so,” he added.
Wanninayake added thereby that Defence Secretary, IGP, Western Province SDIG Deshabandu Tennakoon, DIG Chandrakumara, Sisira Methrathanthri, SSP Nishantha Chanadrasekara, SSP Liyanage, Mirihana Police Chief Inspector Thushara and Fort Police OIC Sagara Liyanage should be named as respondents to the main case due to their failure to take action to avoid the occurrence and thereby aiding and abetting.
He added that this would be a black spot in the political history of Sri Lanka and one which violated the democratic rights of people.
BY Faadhila Thassim