H’tota protesters released on bail

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By 2017-11-14

The Hambantota Magistrate yesterday (13) allowed bail to 31 suspects who were arrested and remanded over their involvement in a protest staged in the area in October. The protest, which was held in front of the Indian Consulate in Hambantota on 6 October, was organized by the Joint Opposition to express their dissent over moves by the Government to hand over operations of the Hambantota Port and Mattala Airport to two foreign companies.

The Police used water cannon and tear gas to disperse the protesters. Subsequently, many, including MPs Namal Rajapaksa, D.V. Chanaka and Prasanna Ranaweera and Provincial Councillors Upali Kodikara, Sampath Athukorala, retired Major Ajith Prasanna were arrested on charges of unlawful assembly, causing damage to public property, injuring Police officers, obstructing their duty and violating a Court Order.

Magistrate Manjula Karunaratne presided when the case was taken up yesterday. The suspects were released on bail with two sureties of Rs 500,000 each. The case is to be taken up again on 12 March 2018.

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