Minister of Public Security Sarath Weerasekera says he will resign from his post as Minister, if it is proven that he or any parties connected to him provided favours to certain individuals who were directed to quarantine centres, after being found guilty of violating quarantine regulations.
The Minister was speaking in Parliament today, in reply to a statement made by Opposition MP Nalin Bandara when he visited teachers who were arrested and held at the Harbour Police.
Minister Sarath Weerasekera said he granted permission for two lawyers to visit the arrested group on the same night, and discuss their issues and needs.
The Minister added any individual who provided necessary items to Policemen at the gate, would have handed them over to the teachers.
However Minister Weerasekera reiterated that he will resign from his post if his connection is proved.
In reply to Minister Sarath Weerasekera’s statement, Leader of the opposition Sajith Premadasa said the government is using the Police and security forces as a political tool.
The Opposition Leader said his faction rejects the suppressive actions taken by security forces to silence the voice of democracy.
He spoke of his visit to meet the arrested teachers at the Harbour Police, adding that authorities did not let him in.
The Parliamentarian also claimed that Police attempted to arrest a university professor who was returning home at the end of the protest.
In reply Minister Sarath Weerasekera said he spoke to the Inspector General of Police regarding the arrest, adding the IGP promised to hand over a report pertaining to the incident promptly.
A heated situation arose in Parliament today following Samagi Jana Balawegaya Parliamentarian Nalin Bandara Jayamaha’s response to Minister Sarath Weerasekera’s statement.
MP Nalin Bandara said when they visited the arrested group the Harbour Police informed them to obtain permission from the Police and Police informed them to obtain permission from the Harbour Police.
He noted the Inspector General of Police and the Senior Deputy Inspector General of Police of the Western Province did not pickup when called to seek permission, adding that the previous day he contacted Minister Weerasekera to request him to release teachers and the Minister responded by saying he will speak to the IGP.
The MP said he visited the arrested teachers with new clothes adding that Actress Piyumi Hansamali and the group arrested with her were allowed to gather belongings before being taken to quarantine.
He questioned who reaches such decisions, adding the government must treat teachers and all others equally.