Apr 17, Hambantota: A violent mob attacked a group of parliamentarians from Sri Lanka's major opposition United National Party (UNP) today when they visited the newly built Hambantota port and Mattala international airport.
The attacks and manhandling of the legislators were videoed and aired by private TV channels this evening. Footage showed police being inactive during the attack.
The group of MPs led by UNP MP Ajith P. Perera visited the development projects in the South today under an invitation from the government, as they said. The MP said that they had due permission from the Minister of Civil Aviation Priyankara Jayaratne.
MPs Ajith P. Perera, Nalin Bandara, Eran Wickramaratne, Ajith Mannapperuma and R. Yogarajan had joined the inspection tour in Mattala and Hambantota today.
The MPs were threatened by thugs that claimed to be defendants of the ventures. One of them who claimed to be a person wanting to safeguard the airport said that the MPs could see that three flights were landed in the airport today.
The MPs were jeered by mobs and they were attacked with rotten eggs and stones as they left the site due to the scuffle. The bus carrying the MPs and the media persons was damaged slightly.
Derana TV showed a police vehicle driven away ignoring MPs request to provide them with safety.
MP Perera told media that it was a very pathetic situation that the MPs were denied access to the public enterprises. He said that the MPs had informed the Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of Southern Province about the situation.