Sri Lanka arrests suspects in tourist assault; wants witnesses to return

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s police is in contact with two witnesses to an incident where a group of tourists were sexually harassed and assaulted and would like them to return and identify six suspects already arrested, officials said.

Sri Lanka’s tourism minister John Amaratunga said the country’s tourism development authority will bear all expenses for the victims to come back and identify the suspects.

Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera said six persons suspected to have been involved in the sexual harassment and assault of a group male and female tourists had been arrested and remanded till April 19.

The incident had taken place on the night of April 07 at the Water Creatures Restaurant also known as a Surf Bar, officials said.

Investigations had started after media reports and a complaint had been made to police in Colombo.

The local police officer charge of the area is under investigation to find whether he had acted properly, Gunasekera said.

Minister Amaratunga said a liquor bar had been operated on the premises without a license.

A complaint had been made by tourist authorities to the Department of Excise against the illegal liquor bar, Sri Lanka Tourist Development Authority Director General U Ratnayake said.

The restaurant was not registered with the tourist authorities he said. (Colombo/Mar18/2018)





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