90-day detention orders issued on IUSF convenor and two others

90-day detention orders issued on IUSF convenor and two others

August 22, 2022   04:06 pm

The Defence Ministry has issued detention orders on IUSF convenor Wasantha Mudalige and two others, who were arrested following a protest march in Colombo last week, police said. 

Accordingly, the Defence Ministry has granted permission for them to be detained for 90 days and questioned by the police. 

On August 19, the Defence Ministry had issued detention orders for them to be detained and questioned for 72 hours while police had said they would seek 90-day detention orders from the defence ministry.

Sixteen individuals who were arrested following the protest at Union Place in Colombo on Thursday (Aug 18) were granted bail by the Colombo Additional Magistrate on Aug. 19.

Meanwhile, police had said that detention orders will be sought on three arrestees namely the Inter University Students’ Federation (IUSF) convenor Wasantha Mudalige, Ven. Galwewa Siridhamma Thera and Hashantha Jeevantha Gunathilake.

Police had stated that IUSF convenor Wasantha Mudalige was arrested as there is a pending arrest warrant against him.

The arrests were made after police used water cannons and tear gas to disperse protesting university students who were marching through Town Hall and towards Union Place despite police blockades.

The protest march had been organized by Inter University Students Federation (IUSF) against the incumbent government led by President Ranil Wickremesinghe.

The IGP today instructed police to hand over IUSF convenor Wasantha Mudalige and the two others to the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) if they are suspected to be involved in any terrorist activities.

It was reported yesterday that on the instructions of IGP C.D. Wickramaratne, questioning of Inter-University Students’ Federation (IUSF) convenor Wasantha Mudalige and the two others would be handed over to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).

Wasantha Mudalige, the convener of Inter University Students’ Federation, Galwewa Siridhamma Thero, the convener of Inter University Bhikku Federation, and Hashantha Jawantha Gunathilake, member of the Kelaniya University Students’ Union, who were arrested on 18 and 19 August, are reportedly being detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA).

Meanwhile, UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights Defenders, Mary Lawlor says signing the detention order on three activists including Inter-University Students’ Federation (IUSF) convenor Wasantha Mudalige would mark a dark day for Sri Lanka.

In a tweet, Lawlor raised deep concerns about the arrest of Wasantha Mudalige, Ven. Galwewa Siridhamma Thera and Hashantha Jeevantha Gunathilake under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA).

She went on to urge President Ranil Wickremesinghe not to sign the detention order on the three activists.

Human rights watchdog Amnesty International today charged that using a draconian anti-terror law to crackdown on protesters is a new low for the Sri Lankan government and that charges of terrorism do not commensurate with any offenses the protesters are alleged to have committed.

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