A group of protesters near the Parliament entrance were arrested by the police yesterday for obstructing Members from entering Parliament.
The protesters were displaying placards and confronting the MPs who were entering the parliament premises when the police arrived on the scene and took them into custody. According to the police 11 males and two females were arrested on the grounds of obstructing the MPs from entering Parliament and violating their privileges.
The Speaker was notified of the situation by MP Manusha Nanayakkara who urged the Speaker to intervene and prevent the group of youth who were demonstrating peacefully being arrested.
Public Security Minister Prasanna Ranatunga told Parliament that the IGP had been notified regarding the group of protesters who were obstructing the MPs. “This group of protesters were arrested and produced in Court as they were hooting at the MPs arriving in Parliament, holding placards and behaving in a confrontational manner. They should act more responsibly because if this continues we won’t be able to carry on with the parliamentary activities. At this point of time, we need the participation of all Parliamentarians and if such groups obstruct the path of these MPs and prevent them from attending sittings, we will not be able to conduct parliament business.
The IGP was notified regarding the incident and the protesters were arrested based on the visuals shown on a tv channel.”
Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa said that protesting and expressing their views is a fundamental right in the country. He said 13 individuals had visited Parliament yesterday to hand over a letter to the Speaker containing proposals pertaining to the current situation in the country.
The group of protesters arrested for obstructing Parliament entrance was released on bail conditions by the Kaduwela Magistrate’s Court after Police produced them in Court.