ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka police will take strict disciplinary action against officers who allegedly organised a birthday party for Kurunegala mayor Thushara Sanjeewa May 30 evening, police said.
Media reports showed footage of an event organised at a location in the vicinity of the Kurunegala police station to mark the mayor’s birthday, attended by members of the clergy and at least one senior police officer. Some of the participations were unmasked and the mayor was seen cutting a cake that was later shared with invitees. The event was in clear violation of Sri Lanka’s ongoing COVID-19 movement restrictions that have been imposed in the face of what is unmitigated public health crisis.
Police spokesman Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Ajith Rohana told the privately owned Derana TV on May 31 that Senior DIG of the North Western Province Nandana Munasinghe has appointed a team headed by a superintend of police to investigate the incident.
The birthday was reportedly at the end of a seven-day pirith (Buddhist chanting) session organised by the Kurunegala police, according to the Derana report.
“An investigation is under way. What happened was against quarantine regulations and it’s something that should not have been done by police,” said Rohana.
“There is no problem if someone cuts a cake for their birthday in their own house, but we do not accept what they did removing their masks at a place where pirith was being chanted,” he said.
While disciplinary action will be taken against police involved, legal action will be initiated against others that were present at the event upon the completion of investigations, he added.
Meanwhile celebrity model Piumi Hansamali and fashion designer Chandimal Jayasinghe were arrested May 30 for allegedly hosting a birthday party at a luxury hotel in Colombo during Sri Lanka’s unofficial lockdown, reports said.
They were produced in the Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court and were subsequently released on personal bail of Rs 1 million each.
Twelve others who had attended he party have also been identified in investigations, the police spokesman was quoted as saying. (Colombo/May31/2021)