JVP Parliamentarian Vijitha Herath alleges that Avant Garde Security Services (Pvt.) Ltd. Chairman Nissanaka Senadhipathi sent 200 people to infiltrate the Mirihana protest near President Rajapaksa’s private residence, on March 31 night

National People’s Power (NPP) Opposition Parliamentarian Vijitha Herath yesterday (6) alleged that Avant Garde Security Services (Pvt.) Ltd. Chairman Nissanaka Senadhipathi had sent 200 people to be among the protesters at Mirihana, near President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s private residence, on the night of 31 March.

“When the people were protesting that night, Defence Secretary (Retd.) Gen. Kamal Gunaratne called an emergency meeting with the Defence Ministry. Senadhipathi was part of that meeting. There, he had said: ‘Do not worry, I have sent 200 people to Mirihana’,” Herath claimed in Parliament yesterday.
Thus, Herath warned the public who are engaged in protests around the island that there is a government conspiracy to deliberately mislead protestors and create violence during protests.

Meanwhile, media reports show that Senadhipathi, along with his family members, left the country this week.

On the night of 31 March, a people’s protest was held in Mirihana, Nugegoda, close to the Pengiriwatte Lane which houses the private residence of President Rajapaksa. Video reports show an individual setting fire to a bus and protestors attempting to topple the barricades at the entrance to the lane. Tear gas and water cannons were used against the protestors by the Police and 53 suspects were arrested following the incident.

Many amongst them have alleged that they were severely assaulted and tortured by the Police and the Armed Forces, which has since led to a large public outcry. From the 53 suspects who were arrested, 27 were produced before the Gangodawila Magistrate’s Court last Friday (1), of which 21 of them were granted bail. From the 32 who still remain in remand custody, 31 were subjected to an identification parade on Tuesday (5).

Here, only one suspect was identified and all 32 of them were released on bail on Tuesday.

Protests have become a common sight around the island in the past three months, as citizens’ calls for the supply of basic essentials such as fuel, electricity, food items, and gas have been increasing. Alongside this, the “#GoHomeGota” hashtag campaign has been popularised across social media.

Following the incidents on 31 March night, the President declared a state of emergency, imposed a curfew, and temporarily blocked several social media applications over the weekend. These have since been lifted, but protests continue islandwide.

Courtesy:The Morning