A bomb disposal unit has been dispatched to determine whether there are explosives in the President’s House and the Presidential Secretariat, Police said.
Meanwhile, in an address to the media, Police Spokesman SSP Nihal Thalduwa stated that investigations are being conducted to identify the protesters who occupied the Presidential Secretariat building, and that measures will be taken to arrest all those who stole valuable items from the President’s House.
He said that based on evidence from CCTV footage, the main suspects who stole valuable historical items had been identified.
He explained why the protesters were evicted from the buildings.
“Protesters have been blocking the entrance to the Presidential Secretariat for some time now. The Colombo Fort Police had on nine occasions asked the protesters to stop blocking the entrance. They, however, ignored the requests. We all know that the Police have been acting with restraint in recent months allowing the public to participate in peaceful protests at the Presidential Secretariat entrance,” he said.
In addition, he said that the protesters who entered the Presidential Secretariat on 9 July were asked to leave by the OIC of the Colombo Central Police Division, his assistant, and the OIC of the Fort Police on 14 and 18 July.
However, because the protesters had reacted aggressively to the request and refused to vacate the premises, the Police had difficulty trusting them, he said.
By Sahan Tennekoon