Hambantota clashes: 41 remanded

Published : 9:44 am  January 9, 2017 | No comments so far |  |  (400) reads | 



By Yohan Perera and Sanath Gamage
The number of people arrested over Saturday’s clashes in Hambantota stood at 41 as at last evening, the Police said.

They have been arrested for damaging public properties during the protest held against the Southern Development Project in Hambantota on Saturday.
Thirteen suspects were arrested by the Hambantota Police, 21 by the Ambalantota Police, four by the Suriyawewa Police and three from the Hungama Police.
Almost a half of the arrested protesters had already been produced in Hambantota Magistrate’s Court, while the rest are expected to be produced today.
The three suspects, who were arrested by the Hungama Police at Nonagama were produced before the Angunukolapelessa Magistrate yesterday.
All the 41 arrested were remanded till today (9).
The chaos started when a pro-government group tried to confront a large crowd led by an Opposition MP protested against the proposed industrial zone.
The Police and the Special Task Force later managed to control the two groups, but the pelting of stones made things impossible. The water cannon went into action a while later firing water all-around. Just then the Police fired tear gas at the Opposition protesters.
Some monks who were with the crowds were chanting seth pirith at that time. Several people including two Police officers were said to be injured in the clash. Several vehicles were also damaged. Later hell broke loose in the Hambantota town when some members of the crowd started burning tyres.
The Opposition group was led by MPs Dullas Alahapperuma, Udaya Gammanpila, Padma Udayashantha Gunasekara and Jayantha Samaraweera. Water jet from the cannon and the tear gas hit them as well during the clash.