Jun 12, 2020

Police media spokesman comes under fire

A statement made by Police spokesman - SP Jaliya Senaratne has come under heavy criticism in social media circles.

The statement was made with regard to an incident where a girl was roughly lifted and thrown into a police jeep during a protest demonstration earlier this week.

SP Senaratne has been cited by a newspaper as to saying that the reason behind this was the girl's conduct.

Therefore, no investigation will be held on this regard, he has added.

When questioned as to why no court order was obtained no quarantine laws were enforced an earlier protest against Prof. Rathnajeevan Hoole in front of the Election Commission, the police spokesman said neither was necessary for that protest as only a small number of protestors were involved.

Attaching a photo of this newspaper report, senior lawyer Upul Kumarapperuma had added a Facebook post. In his post he notes that Article 11 of the Sri Lanka’s 1978 Constitution reads: “No person shall be subjected to torture or to cruel inhuman or degrading treatment of punishment”.

"Does being roughly lifted and thrown around fall under torture? cruel inhuman or degrading treatment of punishment ?  Or is it a part of the normal function of someone who doesn't fall into either of those?," he questions.

His Facebook post is as follows :

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Police crackdown criticised

The conduct of the police at this week's protest demonstrations were also criticised by several politicians as well.

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Counter attack?

Meanwhile, the state owned 'Daily News' said that while condemning Tuesday’s assault on Frontline Socialist Party Protestors by the Police, Co-cabinet Spokesman Information, Higher Education and Innovations Minister Dr. Bandula Gunawardena yesterday said that the attack was only a counter-attack made in response to an attack by the protestors and not an attack launched on an order of the Government to suppress the protestors.

Speaking at the Cabinet Media Briefing at the Government Information Department, Dr. Gunawardena had informed the media that this incident was deeply discussed at the meeting of Cabinet of Ministers who convened on Wednesday under the auspices of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

The President highlighted that any protestor who violates the quarantine law should not be subjected to any assault in the future and they will have to undergo a compulsory quarantine, the minister had said.