The majority of 225 parliamentarians condemned the police attack on students – the Deputy Speaker .
Security measures in and around Parliament were decided by defence experts on the basis of threat perception analysis, Deputy Speaker Thilanga Sumathipala said yesterday.
Addressing a press conference at the Parliamentary Complex, the Deputy Speaker said that the army had not been summoned to provide security to Parliament yesterday. “It was wrong for MEP Leader Dinesh Gunawardena to claim that the Speaker had summoned the army to prevent students from entering parliament. There were police and STF commandos providing security on the roads leading to Parliament because intelligence agencies have reported that some student protesters marching from the Sri Jayewardenepura University may come this way. The onus for deployment of security personnel to prevent such intrusions is not on us,” Deputy Speaker Sumathipala said.
He said that regardless of who was in power the security authorities were duty bound to ensure the protection of Parliament.
The majority of 225 parliamentarians condemned the police attack on students, the Deputy Speaker said. “We have seen how the police attacked a female student. Any sensible person would condemn such an act. Such attacks on innocent students will provoke anyone. The marchers who protest against such a brutal attack could attack anyone, even ministers, the Prime Minister or even the President. Those are the matters taken into consideration by security authorities and they have a responsibility to prevent such untoward incidents. So, they will not allow protesters to come here.”
Such attacks would certainly tarnish the image of the country, the Deputy Speaker said. “When we attended the human rights sessions of the Inter Parliamentary Union in Geneva recently we found how hard it was to face some allegations against the country. We had to work hard as a delegation to bring to the notice of IPU that investigations into the killing of two MPs T Maheshwaran and D. M. Dassanayake were over and the court procedures were nearing completion. We informed them that there was only court judgment to be delivered. The IPU accepted our argument. I must thank the assistance of Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative in Geneva Ravinatha Ariyasinghe in this regard. The IPU sessions this year had many positive outcomes. But, ensuring such positive outcomes in future will not be easy if incidents such as Ward Place mayhem repeats.”
(Original Caption:‘Marchers protesting against brutal attack could turn on anyone, even PM and President’)
By Saman Indrajith