Police withdraw B-report, lawyers call off death fast
4 days ago | BY Buddhika Samaraweera
The Keselwatta Police has withdrawn the B-report through which it had reported facts to the Colombo Magistrate’s Court regarding the protest held by a group of lawyers near the Hulftsdorp Court complex and the Attorney General’s (AG) Department on 18 January, urging the latter not to exert undue pressure on the Judiciary.
When contacted by The Daily Morning, Attorney Gunarathna Wanninayake, representing the Lawyers’ Union of the Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court, said that the Keselwatta Police had withdrawn the B-report in question last morning (24). He said that the same had been communicated in a minute issued by the court.
Accordingly, the fast unto death protest, which was to be commenced by the lawyers today (25), in case the relevant B report was not withdrawn by the Police by last morning, will not be held, confirmed Wanninayake.
The Lawyers’ Union on 18 January held a protest in front of the AG’s Department against the Department’s preparations to submit affidavits, submitted by four Terrorism Investigation Division officers, regarding Colombo Additional Magistrate Tharanga Mahawatte to the Judicial Service Commission, and the incident of the AG’s Department requesting the said Additional Magistrate to transfer the case pertaining to Inter-University Students’ Federation Convenor Wasantha Mudalige to the Colombo Chief Magistrate. On the following day, the Keselwatta Police had reported facts through a B report to the Colombo Magistrate's Court regarding the protest held by the Lawyers’ Union, claiming that the participants had violated the National Thoroughfares Act, No. 40 of 2008, the Local Authorities Elections (Amendment) Act, No. 16 of 2017, and the Police Ordinance. The Police informed the Court that investigations would be carried out into the participants of the protest in question.
Taking into account the matter, Colombo Magistrate Prasanna Alwis ordered the Police to conduct the relevant investigations and report the findings to the Court. On Monday (23), the Lawyers' Union held a protest at the Hulftsdorp Court complex protesting against the said B report and the conduct of the Keselwatta Police. While attending the protest, Wanninayake and several other lawyers gave an ultimatum to the Keselwatta Police to withdraw the B report by last morning, and warned that they would commence a fast unto death protest this morning if the Police fail to do so. Meanwhile, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Chandana D. Wickramaratne had instructed Senior Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of the Western Province Deshabandu Tennakoon to submit a report pertaining to the incident of the B report being filed by the Keselwatta Police. The Police stated on 22 January that the relevant B report had been filed by the Keselwatta Police unknown to both the IGP and the Police Legal Division.