Police denied order to  prevent free SF protest

By Jayantha de Silva

Colombo Chief Magistrate Rashmi Singappuli yesterday refused an application by the Keselwatte Police to issue an order banning a planned demonstration by Peoples’ Movement for Democracy seeking the release of Gen. Sarath Fonseka.

The Magistrate stated that the people had a right to protest and no order would be granted against that right. However, he said the police were given the power to take action in case of breach of peace.

The Magistrate ordered the police to hand over copies of the order to organisers of the planned event.

The recipients of the copies were listed as Tiran Alles MP, Wijitha Herath MP, Anoma Fonseka, Dr. Wickremabahu Karunaratne, Siritunge Jayasuriya and Mano Ganeshan.

OIC Lalith Gamage, citing the reasons for filing the application, submitted that the planned demonstration could breach peace, cause unruly behaviour and give rise to a situation which could result in the crowds getting uncontrollable thus forcing police to baton charge and also use water cannon to disperse them.

Such a scenario could have an adverse impact on the sanctity of the court complex, he said.

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