Navy Commander in alleged fracas with protesters Defence Secretary calls for full report
BY Kavindya Chris Thomas
Defence Secretary Karunasena Hettiarachchi has called for a full report from the Navy Commander Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne, regarding the controversial incident that took place on Saturday (10) at the Hambantota Magampura Harbour.
Hettiarachchi speaking to Ceylon Today noted that the Navy Commander is expected to submit a full report on the Navy's intervention during the protest carried out by a section of the employees of the Hambantota Harbour.
He also claimed that he was informed of the protest and the Navy's involvement, including the Navy Commander's apparent behaviour, only from media reports.
Navy Commander Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne is alleged to have assaulted several individuals, including a journalist, during the protest.
When inquired whether the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has received any complaints regarding the alleged assault Hettiarachchi said that there had been no such complaints as of yet.
Navy Spokesperson Captain Akram Alavi said the Navy Commander was present at the protest while attempts were been made to disperse the demonstrators.
"The Sri Lanka Navy who is the competent authority to carry out the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code had to intervene to disperse the protesters from the two ships and the adjacent facility to make way for normal port operations.
The protesters were holding the ship by force and had disrupted its operation which is a grave violation of International laws and norms which could be treated as an act of piracy," he noted.
An official inquiry into the alleged Navy assault on the protesters will be initiated only once a complaint to the effect is received, Captain Alavi said.
The protest at the harbour began on Friday (09) demanding the government to refrain from handing over the activities of the harbour to a foreign company. The protestors had disrupted the routine work of the harbour and had obstructed the operations of two merchant ships berthed alongside the jetty.
Media coverage of the protest last Saturday showed the Navy attempting to take control of two vessels that was being held by the protesters. The media grabs also showed Navy officers firing into the air, in a bid to disperse the protestors.
It was reported that several employees as well as journalists who were present at the protest, were injured and hospitalized.
The Navy claimed that due to the damages caused to one of the merchant vessels- the Hyperion Highway- the shipping agent of the vessel had to incur a total demurrage of USD 400,000 for the last 4 days of non-operation.
The other merchant ship named 'MV Hoyanger' which is still berthed at the pier is yet to discharge the cargo and cannot proceed to the next port of call unless the cargo is unloaded.
"This may take a few days until the situation returns to normal", Captain Alavi said.
- Since taking over from Avant Garde Navy’s OBST earns Rs 3 B for Govt 3825
- Schools big match season 22 vehicles in custody 3793
- President hints at Cabinet reshuffle 3837
- Three Lankan pilgrims die Extremely cold weather in Dambadiva 3792
- 2,484 dengue patients in Trinco 3784
- Wimal taken to prison hospital Hunger strike enters fifth day 3798
- President misled on Wilpattu issue – ECT Gazette provides zero relief for destruction 3810
- R’kanth’s Jaffna visit dropped 3775
- Rajinikanth’s SL tour cancellation Welcomed by Parties barring BJP 3781
- IUSF in 65 anti-SAITM protests Demand scrapping of Institute 3788
- JVPer claims paddy sold to distillery at Rs 28 3836
- Maligawa Road will remain closed – Kiriella 3811
- Suspect arrested with revolver 3780
- Soma Agnes Maduragoda dies George Perera’s Mother-in-law 3781
- Strike in Afghanistan US confirms al-Qaida figure killed 3776
- Soaring dengue cases 3768
- Visit My Mosque Open day for everyone 3766
- 25 held in pre-dawn Police swoop Illicit liquor, narcotics seized 3764
- Kalkudah distillery runs into snag PS approval in limbo 3772
- South Eastern University shuns ragging 3767
- From Russia with friendship: ‘Kandyan Kastane’ 3289
- Is the Government attempting to STIFLE PUBLIC’S RIGHT TO PROTEST? 3285
- Protests, fisticuffs and fast unto death 3236
- Richmond emerge champions 2712
- SL in deep slump 2724
- Lyon claims four key wickets 2710
- Joes beat Antonians 2703
- Muthuthanthri set for captaincy ? 2739
- Vettel wins Australian Grand Prix 2712
- Arrogate wins Dubai World Cup thriller 2714
- Federer, Wawrinka advance in Miami 2711
- Latham shines in New Zealand gloom 2704
- Dutch suffer World Cup shock 2709
- Diverse Flying Backgrounds Fuel Competition at Red Bull Air Race 2703
- Southern and Central secure titles 2699
- Sri Lanka new minnows in World Cricket 2715
- Tamim century guides Bangla to 324 2579
- Only SLC opposes Manohar at ICC 3079
- The roles people play Prioritizing Sex & Gender 3163
- Typical double standards & hypocrisy 3029
- Main cause of kidney diseases 3076
- Rewarded for sensitizing rights of the disabled 3116
- Foreign Judges can hear cases – Niran Anketell 3086
- We await President’s response – Gemunu 3230
- G20 drops pledge to fight protectionism Bows down to US opposition in spite of China 3317
- Chinawood: The merging of ‘Hollywood’ and ‘Made in China’ 3297
- Facebook to challenge YouTube and Spotify 3296
- Revised IMF deal expected by April Disbursement by June – Central Bank 3304
- Sri Lankan to maintain fleet position 3448
- High production costs hurting shipbuilding industry 3302
- Pak PM keen to fully utilize SL FTA 3304
- Flemingo to open new BIA duty free on 1 July 3301
- NTB arranges $20M syndicated loan for Maldivian firm 3303
- Banker award recognizes our financial discipline – Ravi K 3312
- HYUNDAI LANKA CONDUCTS FREE TUCSON CAR CLINIC 3294
- Asia-Pacific Economic Preview: 27-31 March 3300
- Remittances and exporter conversions to boost rupee 3299
- OPPO launches Selfie Expert F3 plus with Dual Selfie Camera 3314
- LAUGFS Group Chairman receives ‘Deshabandu’ national honour 3299
- The crisis in Parliament: Twilight of a functioning democracy 3495
- Mispriced Risk of Infectious Diseases 2439
- Limelight on Sri Lanka again 2443
- Musicalisation of Narrative 3892
- The Many Faces of Galle -Part 2 3922
- Footpaths Towards Deconstruction- Part 14 3898
- Afternoon Shadows 3911
- Living up to ideals 4057
- Clash of the Titans in Nuwara Eliya 3943
- The plight of our corals 1725
- India’s largest international décor mall launched in Bangalore 1704
- The games gods and politicians play 1701
- A challenged life 1691
- The Threshold: Patching up our privileged defeats 1760
- Animal assisted therapy 1697
- Empowering vocational studies 1816
- Your dream gaming machine 1815
- An enchanting remake 1813
- Refreshingly delicious 1816
- Xiumin 1815
- Batteries to firebombs 1328