Wednesday, 15 May 2019 09:43

Racial attacks in Kandy thwarted

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Security forces prevented an attempt to launch a series of attacks on ethnic minorities in the Kandy district last Sunday (12), multiple sources told RepublicNext.

The security forces have also detained two leading Sinhala extremist leaders Amith Weerasinghe and Dan Priyasad as a measure to prevent the escalation of racial violence.

These sources said that Police and STF officers had visited the leader of the Mahason Balakaya, Weerasinghe in Teldeniya last Saturday.

They had searched his house and warned him against going ahead with a planned anti-Muslim demonstration.

As police found out that Weerasinghe had not heeded their warnings and was going ahead with plans to organize a protest march, he was arrested later in the week.

Police spokesman SP Ruwan Gunesekara said a total of 80 persons are now in custody over the racial attacks that have taken place in the Kuliyapitiya, Hettipola and adjacent areas since Sunday.

Among other key persons in detention is Namal Kumara, the former police informant who rose to fame when he accused senior police officers of an alleged VIP assassination plot.

Kumara was spotted at the Hettipola police station in a crowd that gathered to force police to release four rioters who had been arrested.

It is not clear what his role has been in the unrest.

MP Dayasiri Jayasekara the local Member of Parliament and an attorney-at-law was instrumental in having the four men who were being held at the Hettipola police station released.

Jayasekara told RepublicNext that these men “had been arrested in Bingiriya and then brought to Hettipola. So I took them back to Bingiriya and handed them over to police there.”

He did not say why he did so, and what his interest in these alleged rioters was.

Meanwhile, Dan Priyasad alias Suresh Priyasad had surrendered to the Colombo Crimes Division on Tuesday.

Earlier, detectives had visited his house to question him but he had not been in.

Priyasad has been charged with racial attacks before. He was implicated in the attacks on the Rohingya refugees in Mount Lavinia as well as in the Digana incidents.

(Republic Next)

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