The police had arrested 54 persons over the protest held near the President’s residence in Mirihana on Thursday night.
Police Spokesman SSP Nihal Thalduwa said that the protest had been peaceful when it had commenced on Thursday evening, but some elements in the crown had turned violent later that evening and had caused damage to property and five policemen were also injured in the incident.
“The peaceful protest which commenced from the Jubilee post area in Nugegoda turned violent by night. As a result, the police had to use minimum force to control the unruly crowd. We had to use tear gas and water cannons to disperse the crowd. However, they had caused damage to a police bus, a jeep belonging to the Mirihana Police, a three wheeler and two police motorcycles. The unruly mob also set fire to an Army bus, which was completely destroyed and also damaged several other vehicles and also private property.”
The police spokesman also noted that an ASP who was also injured in the incident is currently receiving treatment at the Colombo National Hospital. Another Police Sergeant and two constables who were also injured in the incident are receiving treatment at the Kalubowila Hospital.
He also said that investigations are underway to determine how a peaceful protest suddenly turned violent and under who’s directive it happened that way.