JJB lawyers demand MR, Johnston be arrested

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The Lawyers’arm of the Jathika Jana Balawegaya (JJB), yesterday urged the law enforcing authorities to immediately arrest former PM Mahinda Rajapaksa and former Minister Johnston Fernando for instigating and conspiring to instigate mob violence against peaceful protesters on 9 May in Colombo. 

Addressing the media in Colombo, Attorney-at-Law Sunil Watagala stressed that the people of the country are agitating because there are no answers to their burning issues. There are places where protesters get angry. The Government is trying to blame those provocations on the JVP or the Jathika Jana Balawegaya. “We demand the immediate arrest of Mahinda Rajapaksa and Johnston Fernando, who have not been arrested as yet,over the 9 May Galle Face attack.

“Wasantha Handapangoda, the so-called leader of teachers’ union of the SLPP said,“MynaGoGama is being attacked. Gotagogama is going to be attacked. We took the law into our own hands.” People like her and Mahinda Kahandagama stand behind people like Mahinda Rajapaksa and Johnston who instigated the mobs,” he stressed.

“While, citizens of the country are lined up for gas, milk powder and fuel, in parliament they debate about paying compensation for the damaged houses of the MPs and providing separate fuel to MPs,” he charged. One Member of Parliament has stated that there were 150 members of the JVP involved in the attacks. It was said that the same MP had met Eknaligoda in France earlier. It is futile to talk about the consequences of such false accusations without touching the cause, he added. Western Province SDIG Deshabandu Tennakoon has been photographed with criminals. These people should be arrested for marching from Temple Trees to assault the peaceful protesters.

However, Handapangoda is still out today after declaring that she has taken the law into her own hands, he alleged. “Victims of the brutal attacks are still being treated. We emphasise that those who attacked them should be arrested immediately,” he further stated.  Meanwhile, Attorney-at-Law Susantha Dodawatte warned that lawyers affiliated to the Jathika Jana Balawegaya will not hesitate to take further action regarding the illegal arrests made by the Police in connection with the 9 May Galle Face attacks.

Dodawatte said that JJB lawyers will never hesitate to take further action regarding the illegal arrests and illegal cases filed by the Police. Various individuals have been arrested by the Police in different areas and produced before local courts, he said. “We have appeared in many cases on behalf of those who have been charged with attacking the homes of local politicians. It was found that the suspects had been arrested without proper investigation by the relevant Police stations” he emphasised.

By Aloka Kasturiarachchi