AG assures Court no action against protest site

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The Attorney General gave an undertaking before the Court of Appeal, on Friday (5) that no measures, outside what is prescribed by law, will be taken to remove the tents and temporary shelter set up at the Galle Face protest Site until 10 August.

This was when the four Writs, that were filed seeking an interim order suspending the order issued by the Police to vacate the Galle Face protest site before 5.00 p.m. on 5 August, was taken up.

Additional Solicitor General Sumathi Dharmawardena making submissions on behalf of the Attorney General said no steps will be taken to remove any temporary tents or shelters outside of the legal framework while noting that the IGP will be given the necessary instructions in this regard.

However, the Court observed that the respondents are permitted to commence with initial measures required for the removal of such tents or shelters.

Police issued a statement on 3 August, directing protesters to vacate the Galle Face site and nearby areas by 5.00 p.m. on 5 August, while they were also asked to remove tents and any temporary shelters affixed. Police also noted that legal actions will be taken against those who fail to follow instructions.

The Colombo Fort Police on Thursday (4) also reiterated the previous statement issued to so vacate the site and to remove everything that has been set up in the site noting it to be land belonging to the government. The Police also ordered the public to stop the deprivation of the material rights of the public.

By Faadhila Thassim