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May 09 violence: CID arrests SLPP MP Sanath Nishantha

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) arrested Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) MP Sanath Nishantha a short while ago.

Nishantha was arrested in connection to the attacks on peaceful protesters at Galle Face and Temple Trees, along with the violence that followed on May 09.

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has informed the Speaker of Parliament that statements would be recorded from seven parliamentarians over the tensions near the Galle Face Green and Temple Trees on the 9th of May.

Meanwhile, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) has directed the CID to act in compliance with the directives of the Attorney General with regard to the investigations into the events that unfolded at the protest sites in Colombo last week.

In a statement, the police media division said 22 suspects involved in the said events have been identified so far.

The Attorney General, on Monday (May 16), instructed the CID to arrest 22 suspects including MPs Johnston Fernando, Milan Jayatilake, Sanath Nishantha, Sanjeewa Edirimanna and Senior DIG in charge of Western Province Deshabandu Tennakoon, if sufficient evidence is available against them over the attack on protesters near Temple Trees and Galle Face on May 09. 

The Attorney General’s Department stated that if there is direct, circumstantial and technical evidence against the 22 suspects, they should be arrested as soon as possible.

The Attorney General’s Department also instructed the CID to file cases against the arrested suspects under the Criminal Procedure Code.

In its letter, the Attorney General noted that if the suspects are not found at their known addresses, they must present evidence and obtain an open warrant from a magistrate to arrest them or even seek public assistance to arrest suspects who are not found at such designated addresses.

The Attorney General’s Department had further instructed the CID that it is crucial to record the statements of those against whom foreign travel bans have already been obtained.