May 15, Colombo: Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has ordered the police to take steps against the persons engaged in sectarian violence in some parts of the country under the Emergency Regulations and International Covenant On Civil And Political Rights (ICCPR) Act.
An offence under ICCPR Act is non-bailable, and no person suspected or accused of such an offence will be granted bail except by the High Court in exceptional circumstances. Furthermore, a person found guilty of an offense under the Act can be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a maximum term of ten years.
The violent incidents that took place on the 12th and 13th of this month have been completely controlled by the police and the three armed forces, and the suspected opportunistic groups instigated the violence have been arrested and remanded after being produced before the courts, the Prime Minister's office stated.
Violent attacks on Muslim establishments on 13th May took place only in Kurunegala, Wariyapola, Kuliyapitiya, and Nikaweratiya in Kurunegala district, Chilaw, Naththandiya, and Wennappuwa in Puttalam District and Minuwangoda in the Gampaha District took place.
The Prime Minister, after discussing the situation with the Cabinet of Ministers on the night of 13th has instructed the Police to declare a curfew around the country as a precautionary measure.
Nine out of 14 persons arrested in connection with the riotous incidents in Minuwangoda were produced in Minuwangoda Magistrate's Court and remanded until May 29th. The other five persons were arrested on 14th May and they were due to be produced before the courts.
Over 60 persons who were involved in violence in the North Western Province and violated the curfew have been arrested by the police by 4 pm on 14th of May. Nine of them were produced before the Hettipola magistrate court and remanded till May 27.
Prime Minister Wickremesinghe has ordered the police to file charges against the suspects under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Act.
The Acting Inspector General of Police C. D. Wickramaratne has taken steps to dispatch two police teams from Colombo headed by two DIGs to investigate the incidents.
However, the Prime Minister has instructed the Acting IGP to impose a curfew according to the need as a precautionary measure. Accordingly, an island wide curfew was also imposed on Tuesday night.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe visited the Kurunegala District on May 14 to inquire into the welfare of the affected people. He then met again with the cabinet and discussed the security measures.