VIDEO: UNP claim government conspiracy behind arrest of prominent members
October 15, 2013 05:12 pm
The remanding of several UNP organizers and members is part of the government’s plan to weaken the opposition party, the UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake stated.
Speaking at a press conference held today (October 15) in Colombo, he said that seven UNP organizers have been arrested including Weligama organizer Gayan Sanjeewa, who has been remanded, as well as Matara organizer MP Mangala Samaraweera.
Balapitiya organizer Kamal Soyza, Bulathsinhala organizer Kithsiri Kahatapitiya, Rambukkana organizer Sandeep Samarasinghe, Kalutara organizer Lakshman Wijemanne as well as Devinuwara organizer H.R. Wimalasiri are a few names among 34 already remanded while Attanayake claimed that more than 20 others have been targeted for arrest.
He also stated that he along with a group of UNP representatives met with the SSP of Matara last week to discuss the clash between two groups of UNP supporters. He claimed that the SSP had assured the party that no one would be taken into custody without valid evidence that they had participated in violence.
He said that the police had explained that the evidence would be based on video clips, pictures etc and not on the sporadic accounts of certain persons.
However, Attanayake stated that this was not how the investigation had ensued.
After both sets of supporters had informed police of their respective marches, the UNP MP questioned as to who was supposed to provide security in this situation and why the police did not act when the initial clash took place.
He said that this was all the government’s plan against the UNP adding that the police in Matara were operating on orders given by Maithri Gunaratne and not senior police officials.
The MP further accused the police of not taking action against the owner of a firearm used in the clash stating that the police had explained the ownership of the firearm was transferred from Hermon Gunaratne to his son. He argued that in this case it was illegal for Hermon Gunaratne to fire the gun and that the owner of the firearm should be taken into custody as well.
Attanayake also defended MP Mangala Samaraweera by saying that he was in the past a person who spoke directly against the government’s corruption and was never afraid to do so while explaining that it was this fearlessness that had made him a target.
He claimed that Samaraweera’s arrest was issued to silence him but that the UNP was not prepared to stop any of its campaigns against the Rajapaksa government.