The 44 suspects arrested yesterday during a protest opposite the Presidential Secretariat will be produced before Court today.
Police Media Spokesman Senior DIG Ajith Rohana told NewsRadio, 22 male teachers, 16 female teachers and six other individuals were among the group arrested last evening.
The Medical Office of Health of the Colombo Municipal Council carried out Rapid Antigen Tests on all 44 individuals yesterday.
Ten vehicles that they arrived in were seized by Police yesterday.
Legal action will be taken against the group under the National Highways Act on charges of obstruction, being part of an illegal gathering and obstructing traffic along a main road including the Quarantine and Prevention of Diseases Ordinance.
Heavy traffic congestion was reported yesterday surrounding the Presidential Secretariat owing to the vehicle protest by teacher and principal trade unions seeking solutions to salary anomalies.
The vehicle procession was launched from Kadawatha, Kottawa, Moratuwa and Welisara and reached the Presidential Secretariat.
Meanwhile Attorney Sunil Watagala says the arrested protesters have been detained by the Harbour Police. He said they visited the Maligawatte Police Station, Foreshore Police Station, Dematagoda Police Station and the Colombo Fort Police Station in search of the detainees.
He said the objective of the Harbour Police Station is to deal with crimes within the Harbour adding the government resorted to detain protesters within a compound rather than at a Police station.
Attorneys Sunil Watagala and Senaka Perera alleged that lawyers were not provided an opportunity to meet the group and questioned the state of the country’s democracy.
Attorney Senaka Perera said these individuals were not arrested during the protest but were arrested on their way home adding the group consists of three-wheeler drivers, female teachers and breast-feeding mothers.
He said the shameless efforts to suppress protesters instead of providing solutions to the requests cannot be accepted, adding teachers’ demands are fair.
The Chief Secretary of the Ceylon Teachers’ Union Joseph Stalin said the teachers who are currently detained at the Harbour Police Station were randomly arrested by the Maligawatte, Peliyagoda, Dematagoda and Wellawatte Police Stations while returning home.
He said they were not allowed to enter the Harbour to meet the arrested group.
Meanwhile, views were expressed in Parliament yesterday pertaining to the teachers’ and principals’ salary anomalies.
State Minister Indika Anuruddha Herath claimed certain groups have forced teachers and principals to the streets adding the government is ready to provide salary increments through the Budget.
The State Minister said the government has made necessary arrangements adding plans cannot be implemented on a whim.
Samagi Jana Balawegaya MP Rohini Kumari Wijerathna charged the present administration of providing tax relief to associates which has resulted in an economic crisis.
Meanwhile Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna MP Sanjeeva Edirimanna said political interventions have damaged social attention towards fair demands calling for the rectification of teacher and principal salary anomalies.
He claimed a certain political group prefers to create issues instead of resolving the concerns.
MP Edirimanna requested teachers to be cautious of such individuals, with political agendas.
Furthermore, Minister GL Peiris called for a collective resolution by considering the salary issue as a national issue rather than blaming on one another.