Fr Jeewantha will appear in Court – Counsel

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President’s Counsel Rienzie Arsecularatne, appearing for Rev. Fr. Jeewantha Peiris, yesterday informed Colombo Fort Magistrate Thilina Gamage that his client will be appearing in Court on 12 August, in connection with the protest incident at Galle Face Green.

Counsel Arsecularatne PC made this submission via a motion filed in Court. He stated that after being informed that his client had been named as a suspect in the incident, where it has been alleged that his client had engaged in a protest in violation of an order issued by Court, his client had made a request, to grant him approval to appear in Court.

Accordingly Magistrate Gamage stated that necessary measures should be taken, having informed the concerned parties, as the next date for the case has been set for 12 August.

The Attorney General on Tuesday (9) objected to the Fundamental Rights Petition filed by Rev. Fr. Jeewantha Peiris on the basis that he is avoiding Court procedure.

This was when the FR Petition, filed by Fr. Peiris, seeking an order to prevent his arrest in connection with the alleged unlawful assembly in front of Police Headquarters and damage to public property, during the anti-Government protest, was taken up before Supreme Court Justices S.T.B. Dehideniya, S. Thurairaja, and Yasantha Kodagoda.

The Senior State Counsel, making submissions on behalf of the Attorney General, observed that Fr. Peiris has avoided Court procedure, to which Counsel Arsecularatne PC, who appeared on behalf of Fr. Peiris, said no notice of any arrest or case was served to his client.

The Senior State Counsel observed that Fr. Peiris was wanted as a suspect in a case, to which Arsecularatne responded if so that surrendering his client will be considered. The Court then ordered to file limited objections and further hearing was fixed for 1 September.

It was stated in the Petition, by Fr. Peiris, that the imminent arrest without reasonable grounds would violate his Fundamental Rights. IGP C.D. Wickramaratne, SDIG in charge of the Western Province, Deshabandu Tennakoon, the Attorney General, and others were named as respondents to the Petition.

The Colombo Fort Magistrate previously imposed overseas travel bans on six individuals involved in the anti-Government protests including Fr. Jeewantha Peiris.

By Hansi Nanayakkara and Faadhila Thassim