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* Bar Association demands immediate arrest of the mob who instigated violence to restore public confidence
Wed, May 11, 2022, 09:07 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

May 11, Colombo: The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) expressing grave concern over the mob violence unleashed on peaceful protesters in front of the Temple Trees and Galle Face in Colombo on Monday (May 09) demanded the authorities to Take urgent action to arrest the mob who instigated the violence.

The bar Association noted that the attacks on the protest sites provoked unprecedented unleashing of violence on the person and property of many persons including Members of Parliament and members of local authorities and others resulting in deaths, injury and the destruction of public property and private property.

Issuing a statement, the Bar Association said urgent action is immediately required on the part of the authorities to restore public confidence and restore peace.

The BASL condemned all forms of violence and all those engaged in acts of violence must be dealt with according to law.

“Whilst peaceful protests are encouraged there should be no room whatever for violence and lawlessness. No one should condone or seek to justify any act of violence.”

The BASL noted that the main responsibility for yesterday's incidents lie with those who organized and instigated the mob at Temple Trees which was the residence of the former Prime Minister Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa. The mob proceeded from there to the protest sites and as such Mr. Rajapaksa cannot absolve himself from blame. Video footage show several senior politicians instigating the crowd which had gathered inside Temple Trees to engage in violence.

The BASL said a matter of grave concern is that the police failed to take action to halt the mob and to take necessary steps to quell the violence. The BASL recalling that on previous occasions the Sri Lanka Police sought and obtained orders from courts on marches and processions relating to the protests against the Government pointed out that the police failed miserably to take any action against the mob at Temple Trees.

The unleashing of violence from Temple Trees has further eroded confidence in the entire regime including the President and seriously jeopardized efforts to restore political and economic stability, the Bar Association said.

In these circumstances urgent action is immediately required on the part of the authorities to restore public confidence and restore peace. For this purpose, the BASL demands:

1. The immediate arrest according to law of all persons who instigated, conspired to unleash the violent mob from Temple Trees and participated in the said violence - irrespective of the positions they held in the Government or of their family connections. Immediate travel bans be obtained against such persons by the Police.

2. A comprehensive investigation into the attacks on peaceful protesters opposite Temple Trees and at Galle Face.

3. Immediate halt to the violence unleashed on the persons and property of individuals and on State Property and that the perpetrators of such violence too to be investigated, arrested and dealt with according to law.

4. An independent inquiry into the failure of the authorities including the Sri Lanka Police to prevent and restrain the mob violence including that which was unleashed from Temple Trees.

The BASL will continue to do its duty towards the country and its people and to uphold the Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights in the country.


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