Wearing a red T-shirt doesn’t make you a JVPer

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Stressing that everyone who wears red T-shirt is not affiliated with the JVP, the party’s Propaganda Secretary Vijitha Herath said, they urged IGP Chandana Wickramaratne to act impartially in the investigations into the attack on anti-government protesters by SLPP supporters on 9 May and ensuing events, and stop hunting JVP supporters. The JVP, yesterday (23) met the IGP and filed a complaint with regard to the allegations of certain ruling party MPs that the party is behind public riots which erupted islandwide following the attack.

Speaking to the Media, Herath said the peaceful protesters who were demanding the resignation of the President and the Prime Minister at Galle Face and Temple Trees were attacked by a gang of SLPP hooligans who had been brought to Temple Trees for a meeting.

Thereafter, a series of attacks were carried out islandwide by thousands of civilians, attacking politicians and their supporters, he said.

He added “Some ruling party Ministers and MPs tried their best to prove that the JVP is behind these attacks. They blamed our supporters without any evidence. We wanted to know the truth and to clarify how many members of our party and of the other political parties have been arrested regarding those incidents.

We also held talks with several SDIGs who provided us with many important details and they confirmed that no one was arrested based on his/her political affiliations.

They promised to continue investigations impartially and to release suspects who have been arrested based on the lists given by politicians. We told them to act immediately on these issues, as many politicians have started hunting JVP members,” he said.

JVP Politburo member Sunil Handunneththi emphasised that they asked the Police to conduct an immediate, non-partisan investigation into the Weligama incident.

“Minister Kanchana Wijesekera alleged that a JVP Pradeshiya Sabha (PS) Member interrupted the diesel distribution in Weligama. We asked an SDIG whether it is right or wrong. That PS member was also in the queue.

When we went through the CCTV footage, we saw that the person who has done so was with a red coloured T-shirt. I would like to reiterate that wearing red T-shirts doesn’t make you a JVPer automatically,” he further said.

Handunneththi claimed that they do not want history to repeat itself and the IGP has a responsibility to lead the investigations impartially, as this involves the rule of law of the country. He also commended those who took to the streets that day to condemn the brutal and immoral attack by politically-motivated mobs.

By Sahan Tennekoon