Hambantota Unrest – Suspects in court, tensions in the House

Hambantota Unrest – Suspects in court, tensions in the House

By Lahiru Fernando

Jan 09, 2017 | 11:39 pm

January 9, 2017 : Thirty two people arrested in connection to the unrest in Mirijjawila, Hambantota produced before the Hambantota Magistrate’s Court.

Hambantota Police – 11 arrests
Ambalantota Police – 21 arrests

Of the thirty two, all except one were placed on remand until January16. The other suspect, underaged, has been placed in custody of the Department of Probation and Childcare

According to Attorney-at-Law M.S.M. Samsudeen (Attorney Representing the Defendants)- Four DIGs have made submissions on behalf of the prosecution.

Furthermore, charges have been submitted against the defendants for the offence of damaging public property.

The injured – Seven police officers and a civilian are continuing to receive treatment in hospital.

First sitting of Parliament for 2017 – Tensions in the House

MP Dinesh Gunewardena made several key points in Parliament.

* The country will lose the Hambantota Port
* Acquiring and selling this (the port) is harmful to the country
* Providing a further 15,000 acres will deprive the agrarian community of a livelihood
* It will have a harmful impact on Buddhist places of worship and the environment.

He questioned the Prime Minister if he accepts that – the signing of the framework agreement for the MOU with the ‘China Merchant’ will result in the above.

In his response, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe stated that the “first investment will be provided to a Sri Lankan – who will be constructing a cement factory”.

The Chinese investments (According the PM)

A fuel refinery
A liquid gas power plant
A shipyard
A cement factory

The Premier added that in addition to the above, talks also are underway with American and Arabian companies to build another fuel refinery.

The contradicting statements

“The people of Hambantota have a reasonable doubt and suspicion that even their villages and lands will be conferred to this company.”, said Anura Kumara Dissanayake.

The JVP leader also pointed out the contradicting statements made by government ministers…

“One Minister says the agreement has been signed and another says it has not been signed. One says that only 15,000 acres is needed, the other says we must prepare to give even 20,000 acres.”