Why did the police disrupt Balapitiya rally – asks Fonseka

Why did the police disrupt Balapitiya rally – asks Fonseka

Written by Bella Dalima

19 Jan, 2014 | 9:21 am

Leader of the Democratic Party Sarath Fonseka says that steps taken by the police to disrupt a public rally in Balapitiya is a blow against democracy.

He made this statement during a media briefing held on Saturday.

The rally was scheduled to take place opposite the Balapitiya bus stop however as the necessary permission was not received, organisers opted to hold the rally on a mobile platform in close proximity to the old public market premises.

As leader of the Democratic Party Sarath Fonseka began his address, police officers stormed on to the platform and called on organisers not to use loudspeakers.

Thereafter, Sarath Fonseka began addressing those gathered at the occasion.

Following the rally, the vehicle carrying the mobile platform was taken into custody of the police along with the driver and the assistant of the vehicle.

Leader of Democratic Party,  Sarath Fonseka expressed these views;

“We did not violate any laws, we did not use  loud speakers. When the SSP climbed on to the stage five thugs accompanied him. These thugs made various statements  when the Speaker before me was addressing the gathering and attempted to disrupt the peace at the location. The SSP and OIC were present at the occasion however they didn’t say a word to silence these thugs. When we continued with our rally the SSP and OIC left the location.

If we broke any laws than they should have arrested us. However, they let us carry on with the  rally and then after it ended they made a couple of arrests. There is no such law. We noticed that a frightened SP was stationed some distance away from our rally, he had been given instructions to lurk in the shadows. If the gathering was unlawful then they should have arrested us. Under what law did they arrest the driver and the vehicle afterwards> These are cowardly acts. We will report this to the Human Rights Commission. We will also report it to the United Nations as well as all diplomatic missions ..”

Meanwhile, addressing a media briefing this evening, Police Media Spokesperson SSP Ajith Rohana shared these views on the incident.

Police Media Spokesperson, SSP Ajith Rohana expressed these views;

“They had not obtained permission to hold such a meeting from the local government institution in the area. The use of loudspeakers without the necessary permits is an act which is punishable under the clause 80 of the Sri Lanka police ordinance. Under the existing laws no one is authorized to use devices such as loud speakers at public locations without obtaining the necessary permission. This situation took place because they acted in violation of the law. There was no external influence in the arrest of the individuals or in the steps taken to take the vehicle into police custody.”



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