The United National Party (UNP) today reminded Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa of an incident in May 2019 when motorists had objected to a road being closed for a VIP movement.
The UNP said that Rajapaksa, who was then in the opposition, had defended the actions of the motorists.
A motorist was arrested over allegations he obstructed the duties of the Police when Chinese Defence Minister, General Wei Fenghe arrived in Sri Lanka on Tuesday.
Police Spokesman, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Ajith Rohana said that the incident had occurred in Borella.
Condemning the arrest, the UNP today said that in May 2019 the Prime Minister, who was then in the opposition, had stated that “the displeasure shown by the public against the closure of roads for VIP vehicular movements by unceasingly sounding the horn were a reaction to the Government’s policies.”
On that occasion the then UNP led Government did not resort to any form of legal action to quell public anger, the UNP pointed out.
The UNP raised concerns on the arrest of the individual allegedly involved in the recent honking of car horns at the vehicular convoy of the Chinese VIP in Colombo.
The individual was identified by Police as the person responsible for organising the public demonstration.
The UNP requested that the Government clearly explain what was the reason behind the arrest of the individual.
The Police had reportedly taken action after viewing a video that had gone viral on social media showing motorists honking their horns at the passing VIP convoy.
“While recognising that the security of visiting foreign dignitaries cannot be compromised, there appeared to have been no threat to the VIP or any fellow citizens. The police must confirm under what charges this individual has been arrested and whether or not any threat was posed to the VIP by these actions,” the UNP said.
The United National Party further said the arrest has demonstrated the Government’s insecurity and inability to tolerate any form of public opposition.
The party urged the authorities to ensure that the freedom of speech and freedom of expression is upheld. (Colombo Gazette)