Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa said President Ranil Wickremesinghe cannot wipe his hands off the responsibility over the attack against peaceful protesters at GotaGoGama agitation site, and demanded that a formal investigation must be conducted into who ordered and planned the attack.

He also questioned who issued directives for “State-sponsored violence”.

Speaking at a media briefing, on Friday (22), Premadasa said a large number of civilians including disabled soldiers were assaulted in the morning of 22 July at GotaGoGama and condemned the assault. “An independent investigation should be conducted into the assaults and for the law to be enforced against those responsible. Is this the Government’s way of promoting tourism, by assaulting foreign journalists covering Sri Lanka’s ground situation?” he queried.

MP Dullas Alahapperuma, who was also present at the media briefing said, this attack cannot be ruled out as an isolated incident.

“This could be a stepping stone for suppression of democracy. Today’s suppression was directed at protesters. Tomorrow’s violence could be unleashed on trade unions, media, political parties, and other groups,” he alleged.

Alahapperuma urged the public to raise their voice against such actions.

By Nabiya Vaffoor