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JVP says IGP said most arrested over recent violence not from JVP

BY SAFRAH FAZAL

Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP)-led National People’s Power (NPP) MP Vijitha Herath claimed that Inspector General of Police (IGP) Chandana D. Wickramaratne had confirmed in a meeting between the JVP and IGP held yesterday that “most” of those arrested in connection with the violence that erupted islandwide on 9 and 10 May have no links or affiliation with the JVP.

“According to reports received from the IGP and other officials, most of those arrested have no connection with the JVP. They are affiliated with other political parties. We pointed out that plots are being carried out with the aim of hunting down our party members for purposes of exacting personal and political revenge. The Police have agreed to look into any arbitrary arrests as well,” said Herath.

Herath attended the meeting with former JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti to discuss the allegations pertaining to several members of the JVP being implicated or arrested in connection with the violence that erupted on 9 and 10 May, as various MPs had claimed in Parliament recently.

Handunnetti alleged that the claim made by Minister of Power and Energy Kanchana Wijesekara that a JVP Weligama Pradeshiya Sabha (PS) Member had obstructed the distribution of diesel in Weligama was a false allegation. He asserted that the JVP had no intention of interfering with such matters. Handunnetti also mentioned that a request was made to the Police to investigate the veracity of this incident, if such an incident did occur.

Herath added that the IGP and several Senior Deputy Inspector Generals of Police (SDIGs) have assured that relevant investigations would be carried out impartially and that those involved in the incidents would be arrested without any political differences.

In a heated debate in Parliament on 20 May, Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) MP D. Weerasingha alleged that two individuals who contested in the Damana PS Election representing the JVP were apprehended by the Police, in connection with the violence on 9 May. 

Meanwhile, on 18 May, SLPP MP Arundika Fernando blamed the JVP for the 9 and 10 May attacks on MPs. While JVP-led NPP Leader MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake was addressing these accusations, Fernando interrupted his speech to claim that he had just been on a phone call with the IGP, who had notified him that of the approximately 400 arrests made, 150 were from the JVP. Fernando further charged that although the JVP’s leaders may not have directly carried out the attacks, the attacks were carried out by provincial members of the party at a village level. However, when Dissanayake demanded Fernando provide evidence for these claims in Parliament, the latter was unable to produce any proof.

Following this, in a letter addressed to the IGP on 19 May, the JVP inquired if the Police conducted an investigation with regard to the political affiliations of those that were arrested in relation to the 9 and 10 May violence that led had Fernando to claim that 150 persons of the 450 arrested were affiliated with the JVP. The letter further read that when no formal investigation was carried out with regard to the political background of those arrested, and there is no evidence or basis for these accusatory statements, such allegations being made were extremely serious.