Monday, March 29, 2010

Police Protect Sirasa Attackers

By Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema - Police Chief Mahinda Balasuriya vehemently denied having reprimanded the DIG for Colombo H. M. B. Herath and the Slave Island OIC K. M. Perera for taking action and intervening in the attack on MTV/MBC last Monday (22).

The Sunday Leader has learned that political pressure on the Police Chief, compelled the IGP to censure the policemen who acted to stop the attack from escalating further. The Sunday Leader has reliably learnt that the IGP was pressured into acting in this manner following evidence (reproduced elsewhere on these pages) of UPFA members attached to the Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha being involved in the attack.

Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha members from the ruling United People’s Freedom Alliance — Chathura Dhanushka, Sarathchandra Dias and Hasitha Madawala have been identified as being involved in the attack on MTV/MBC network offices in Colombo last Monday.

The three men, along with several other individuals involved in the attack, were identified from video footage recovered by CCTV cameras at the offices. The 16 individuals arrested by the Slave Island Police for their involvement in the attack also hail from the Kelaniya electorate.

All 16 suspects have now been released. Police sources attached to the Slave Island Police, speaking on grounds of anonymity, said that the 16 suspects had been released on police bail after merely recording their statements.

However, Director General of the Media Center for National Security (MCNS) Lakshman Hulugalle, at a press conference following the attack, denied any government involvement in the attack on the offices of the popular radio and television channels.

He said the individuals who targeted Sirasa were protesting against the proposed musical concert by American recording artiste Akon. Hulugalle blamed the Jathika Sangha Sammelanaya for the attack, adding that both parties, the protestors and Sirasa had to share the blame because they had attacked each other.

However, the JHU-affiliated Jathika Sangha Sammelanaya condemned the attack and denied any involvement.

© The Sunday Leader

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