Issuing a hard hitting statement against the Government’s high handed actions in the Wanathamulla Tenement Gardens where the Urban Development Authority is seeking to forcibly evict hundreds of residents, the main opposition United National Party has charged a resident was abducted from the area following a heated argument with Secretary to the Ministry of Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa sparking mass protests.
The UNP said Samaradheera Sunil had been abducted after he had argued with the Defence and Urban Development Ministry Secretary over the attempts to forcibly remove residents from the area when the official was visiting.
The UNP statement said that the abduction of Sunil and his subsequent release had been the work of the security forces and the Government had been forced to release him unharmed after the people of Wanathamulla stormed the streets against his abduction.
It was during that massive demonstration that the residents had attempted to assault UPFA strongman Duminda Silva in anger when he arrived on the scene.
The main opposition party charged that the Rajapaksa Government was sending soldiers in uniform into shanties and gardens to force residents to leave the area. “Each time these efforts by uniformed soldiers are resisted, the troops drop the Rajapaksa name,” the UNP said.
The UNP has warned the Rajapaksa Government that Sunil’s abduction and the way his neighbours spilled out into the streets to obtain his release was a sign of things to come in the future if the regime continues its flagrant abuse of authority.
“This incident has already got attention internationally. There is no doubt that this latest human rights violation is being studied at the UNHRC in Geneva already. It will result in various conclusions being drawn in March,” the UNP statement said. It was proof that the all of Sri Lankan society was now ready to rage against the ongoing abuse of power and brutality perpetrated by the Executive presidential system, the UNP said.
The statement charged that the Rajapaksa Administration was determined to suppress legitimate civilian protests, recalling the shooting of unarmed protestors in Weliweriya, the Katunayake free trade zone and Chilaw.
Samaradheera Sunil was released after DIG Western Province Anura Senanayake pledged to have him returned to dispel the protestors.