Govt: MP being questioned on Ampara-Digana riots belongs to Mahinda led Opposition


by Zacki Jabbar

The government yesterday identified a member of Parliament, being questioned by the Police in connection with the recent mob attacks on Muslims in Ampara and Digana, as a member of the Mahinda Rajapaksa-led Opposition.

Asked at the weekly Cabinet press briefing in Colombo, why the MP said to be involved in the riots had not been identified as yet, Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne replied, "A member of the Joint Opposition led by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa."

Senaratne said investigations were continuing and only details of the incidents that had been ascertained could be released at this stage.

Five Podujana Peramuna Pradeshiya Sabha members and leader of Mahason Balakaya Amith Weerasinghe were among others arrested in connection with the violence perpetrated, which left over 400 Muslim houses, businesses and mosques in Ampara and Digana destroyed or damaged, Minister Senaratne said.

Senaraten said there was video evidence against some of the suspects and they would be produced in court shortly.

Some extremist power hungry Sinhala politicians and organisations had, Senaratne said, taken advantage of a road accident to involve a few Sinhalese and Muslims, in an attempt to create another ethnic conflict, by harming the Muslims.

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