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Gajendrakumar, (MP) claims his rights have been violated; Minister defends  police action

All Ceylon Tamil Congress leader MP Ganjendrakumar Ponnambalam told Parliament yesterday (08) that his rights had been violated by the police.

 Raising a privilege issue the MP said that the police had been making several false statements to the media regarding a recent incident of confrontation between him and some policemen.

 The MP said: “Considering that it is ultimately the police department itself that has to investigate this incident which also consists of possible crimes committed by one of its own police station members, the fact that the police department has already drawn adverse conclusions against me, means that my rights have been violated by the entire department and it has thereby lost its credibility to investigate this matter in a just and impartial manner pertaining to me and other individuals associated with me, whose rights have been violated.”

The MP said that the police headquarters spokesman who is also an attorney at law, has been making several false statements to the media regarding the incident. “All these statements have been made as the official position of the police inquiry, whilst till yesterday my statement regarding the incident has not been obtained.

Several Sinhala and English media have unquestioning accepted the Police’s version of events despite the police being a party to the 2nd June incident and have published many news items that are blatantly false or thoroughly misleading at the very least. One paper ran a lead story on the 7th June saying I had gone into hiding. Mr. Speaker, even when my father was assassinated by the state I or my family didn’t run. Even when at the height of the war when white van abductions were rampant and extrajudicial killings were taking place against Tamils, I didn’t run away. Now, when the Police have completely exposed themselves for what they are, an institution completely corrupt, that unleashes state terror on the Tamil people, and in my case have completely acted illegally and partially, I’m hardly going to run away. It is in fact in my and my people’s interest to expose everything for what it is.

Considering that it is ultimately the police department itself that has to investigate this incident which also consists of possible crimes committed by one of its own police station members, the fact that the police department has already drawn adverse conclusions against me, means that my rights have been violated by the entire department and it has thereby lost its credibility to investigate this matter in a just and impartial manner pertaining to me and other individuals associated with me, whose rights have been violated.

Accordingly I ask you, Hon. Speaker, to take all measures that you deem fit to safeguard my rights and privileges.” IS

Meanwhile minister says that Police have done nothing wrong

Police officers have done nothing wrong in arresting MP Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam as he was holding a meeting near a GCE Ordinary Level examination coordination  centre, Minister of Public Security Tiran Alles said today.

“The two officers who had come to the location where the MP was having a meeting had established their identity and showed their identity cards as well. However, the MP had tried to manhandle them. Also, the MP had used abusive language,” the Minister said.

“I will table all the video clips to the House once I get everything,” the Minister said.

However, an argument flared up when MP Ponnambalam objected to the statement and said he cannot accept anyone as police officers unless they showed an identity card.

The Minister said the MP had not attended Parliament on June 6 though he had come to Colombo to attend House sessions.

MP Ponnambalam who interrupted at this point said he did come to Parliament at 5 pm and handed over a written privilege issue.
“I handed over the privilege issue as no one can stop an MP from attending Parliament,” he said.

MP Mohammed Muzammil who joined the cross talk said valuable time of Parliament was being wasted on communal politics.

Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana who intervened said the matter cannot be discussed in the House as it has now gone to legal authorities. “MPs should act with restraint,” he said. (Yohan Perera and Ajith Siriwardana)DM

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