June 22, Colombo: Sri Lanka Police said today that no permission would be given in the future to hold religious or ethnic rallies inciting hatred and tension among communities in the country.
At a media briefing today in Colombo, Police Spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana announced the decision to ban public campaigns or any other public rallies which would provoke communal violence among public.
SSP Rohana said the decision to ban rallies was made following reports that a Muslim group was planning a demonstration to denounce the alleged arson attack on the Muslim-owned No Limit store at Panadura.
The spokesman said security would be stepped up in Colombo to prevent any further clashes and legal action would be taken against those who participated in such rallies and demonstrations.
"We are making arrangements to ensure that there is no trouble. There will be tighter security," SSP Rohana told AFP.
He noted that the public freedom will not be affected through these precautionary measures.
The spokesman dismissed the calls for the resignation of the Police Chief and the criticism directed at the police for failing to contain the clashes and for not arresting the controversial extremist Buddhist monk Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera and members of his organization Bodu Bala Sena for allegedly provoking the clashes in Aluthgama and Beruwala last weekend.
"It is unfair to blame one individual, there are so many factors involved," SSP Rohana told the reporters referring to a call for Inspector General of Police (IGP) NK Ilangakoon to resign.