Police assisted in 9 May attacks

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The Sri Lanka Young Journalists’ Association (SLYJA) on Thursday (2) informed the Human Rights Commission (HRCSL) that the attack on peaceful protesters opposite Temple Trees and Galle Face Green was an organised act carried out with the support of the Police.

The SLYJA was summoned by the HRCSL, following a complaint filed by them in this connection and Attorneys-at-Law Nuwan Bopage and D.M. Dissanayake together with members of the YJA Tharindu Jayawardena, Shalika Wimalasena and M.F.M. Faseer appeared on Thursday (2) while Human Rights activist Ruki Fernando appeared as an observer.

Jayawardena marked the letter sent by the IGP C.D. Wickremaratne to the CID, to investigate the live telecast recorded by a local television station of the 9 May clash while also observing that the Government has deliberately atempted to suppress freedom of speech and expression.

He also told the HRCSL that the SLYJA had previously informed of a plan to attack adding that Police also failed to investigate complaints with regard to the suppression.

He added that at the time of the incident, riot control was under the supervision of Western Province SDIG Deshabandu Tennakoon and that Tennakoon had the power to prevent the clash. Jayawardena also stated that the Police were also informed of the attack.

Further, the SLYJA also testified that the President, Defence Secretary, Prime Minister, several Ministers, the IGP, Tennakoon and others have been directly involved in the incident while submitting video footage of the Police allowing the attack to take place.

Bopage, testifying, said that upon having been informed of the attack on peaceful protesters at Galle Face Green, a group of lawyers went to the spot where the incident took place and said Police could have prevented the attack opposite Temple Trees but they failed to do so.