Lankan Catholic priest seeks court protection against arrest for participating in anti-government protests
- Sri Lanka
Father Jeewantha Peiris, a Catholic priest and a prominent activist who participated in anti-government demonstrations against the worst economic crisis facing the country, on Tuesday filed a fundamental rights petition in the Supreme Court to seek its intervention in preventing his arrest.
Senior DIG in charge of Western Province, Deshabandu Thennakoon, Inspector General of Police (IGP), the commanders of tri-forces, the Attorney General and several others have been named as the respondents of the petition submitted to the court via his attorneys.
Peiris pleaded to the apex court that the authorities were out to arrest him without any justifiable ground.
Peiris has been at the forefront of the public agitation campaign since early April that eventually ousted the erstwhile powerful Rajapaksa family which is widely blamed for the mismanagement of the current economic crisis that has led to a severe foreign currency shortage.
Since new president Ranil Wickremesinghe succeeded Rajapaksa, the troops led a crackdown at the presidential secretariat occupied by protesters since April 9.
The protesters, who had been occupying the presidential office building along with the president’s house, the prime minister’s official residence, and the office, later vacated the sites, leaving only the presidential office under their grasp.
The troops on July 22 forcibly cleared the building and the gate, receiving widespread international condemnation of the action.
According to the protesters, several of their leading lights have been arrested since the July 22 crackdown.
The authorities claimed the protesting occupants of the buildings had caused huge damages to public properties and they would be legally dealt with for the losses.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)