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Sri Lanka slams police over abduction bid

Jul 21, 2017 14:57 PM GMT+0530 | 5 Comment(s)

AFP - Sri Lanka's police faced censure on Friday over an attempt to "abduct" a student activist, a tactic widely used against dissidents by the previous strongman leader's regime.

Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera said he lodged a protest with Police Chief Pujith Jayasundara over an attempt by plain-clothed officers to seize a student known for his anti-government views on Thursday night. Other students prevented him from being grabbed by the plain-clothed officers.

Samaraweera said the "white van abduction" was to recreate the fear psychosis associated with former strongman leader Mahinda Rajapaksa's regime.

The minister said the new government came to power in January 2015 promising to end the "white van culture" and ensure that people had more freedom, but the latest police action was a retrograde step.

"I spoke with the Inspector General of Police and he said he will take disciplinary action against those responsible," the minister told reporters in Colombo. "We condemn this action of the police."

Being "white-vanned" had become a verb synonymous with being abducted - a tactic widely used by Sri Lankan forces to deal with troublesome opponents during Rajapaksa's decade in power.

The abduction attempt came hours after President Maithripala Sirisena gave legal effect to a 2016 law that established an office to trace the tens of thousands of people who went missing during the island's decades-long ethnic war.

Samaraweera told the police chief that the timing of the illegal police action suggested there may be elements trying to discredit the administration.

Anti-government activists stage regular protests against the government's free market economic reforms, including allowing private medical education.

Under the previous regime, police and security forces killed several people when they fired at them during anti-government demonstrations. White vans were deployed to abduct dissidents. (Colombo/July21/2017)


 

5 Comments

  1. Frreda July 21, 09:11 AM

    Was this guy Mangala born yesterday. White vans were introduced to SL long time ago and during times of Mr. JRJ and Mr. Premadasa continued to use heavily and subsequent governments where he was a minister followed. Why not this Mr. Mangala guy ask police to take action against Mrs Hurunika for a start. Abductions even happened during 1971 insurrection. Many more disappeared during 86 to 89 at Batalanda. Why not Mr. Mangala ask IGP to investigate.

  2. Palitha July 21, 07:00 AM

    For sure this order came from politicians within this government. Mangala is trying to pass the ball to other elements. Where is the minister of Law and Order? Now these idiots have no control over police.Current white van brigade is created and sponsored by few politicians so they can abduct people who stand against illegal SAITM private degree shop. SAITM is interested in profit. If someone think that they are here to provide fair education, they are plain idiots.

  3. Nic July 21, 07:06 AM

    I commend Minister Samaraweera for coming out and taking a forthright stand against the criminal elements within the police who use inhuman tactics violating the fundamental rights of citizens. Thank you Mr Minister. You should be minister of Law and Order and Minister of Justice

  4. billy July 21, 06:37 AM

    funny way of putting things, even though we had many rumors and allegations before until yahapalane came no body saw it for them selves..but still the blame goes to the last govt, and this is all police work not ranil hamus work unlike the previous goct where it was all govts fault...lol

  5. Saranga July 21, 05:08 AM

    Police should go the point instead of going in plane clothes These IUSF and GOMA are interested idiots who are against education for all

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