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IGP received intelligence reports on May 8

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Inspector General of Police (IGP) C.D. Wickramaratne had recorded his statement with the CID for over 4 hours on Saturday (21) over the incidents which took place on May 9 at Galle Face and Kollupitiya.

In addition, the Commanding Officer of the Police Special Task Forces (STF) and the DIG of the Special Task Force were also summoned to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) to make statements regarding the violent incidents that took place in front of Temple Trees and at the Galle Face on May 9.

According to unconfirmed reports, the IGP is said to have told the CID that he had issued orders not to allow any protest to reach the Galle Face Green protest site. He had reportedly said that as he had received intelligence information the previous day (May 8), he had issued these orders on the 09th. However, the IGP had allegedly told the CID that while he had issued these orders, no road blocks had been set up to prevent these protesters from heading towards Galle Face and neither had any Court order been obtained to prevent these protesters from entering Galle Face. He is also reported to have told the CID that certain officers had provided him false information regarding this protest.

The IGP was summoned to the CID to record his statement regarding the May 9 incidents on Saturday (21) and he had arrived at the CID around 2.30 pm.

However, contrary to the IGPs statement, Minister Ramesh Pathirana revealed in parliament last week that the IGP and the Secretary to the Ministry of Public Security had instructed the police not to take action to prevent the May 9 attack on Galle Face.

“The President nor the Government had no intention of attacking the peaceful protesters. Just before the attack I went there and I told the Senior DIG Deshabandu Tennakoon not to allow the situation to escalate and to prevent any violence. He assured me that all the road blocks had been set up and nothing would happen. Then I had to go to a meeting with the President and at the time former MP Ashu Marasinghe called me and told me that a huge calamity was going to take place and wanted me to ask the President to somehow prevent it from getting out of hand. Then in front of many of us, the President called SDIG Tennakoon and asked him why he was not taking steps to prevent this situation when the President had instructed him in the morning. He then notified the President that the IGP had told him not to do anything to prevent the mobs.”

Then he said that the President had yelled at Tennakoon and reminded him that he was the president and asked him to follow the orders that he, as the President had given.

“It was then that the Senior DIG had taken steps to use the water cannons and tear gas to prevent the mobs from running amok.

Pathirana said that the IGP and the Secretary to the Ministry of Public Security should be held responsible as they are the ones who had prevented the police from stopping the Temple Trees mobs from attacking the peaceful protests at Galle Face. Meanwhile, Police Spokesman Nihal Thalduwa said that so far around 1,500 suspects have been arrested in connection with the May 9 attacks. He added that 677 suspects from among those arrested have already been remanded.

Police say that the number of suspects arrested so far in connection with the May 9 violence is around 1500.

Police Media Spokesman SSP Nihal Thalduwa stated that 677 of them are in remand custody.

He also noted that so far around 844 complaints have been received with regard to violent incidents. Further investigations and more arrests are expected to take place as the investigations are continuing.

(Daily News)

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