Thrashed by Navy Commander Journo entered High Security Area – PM

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By 2016-12-16

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said the journalist who was assaulted by the Navy Commander last week had entered a high security zone within the Hambantota Port premises without permission.
He made this statement after a meeting with the Navy Commander at Temple Trees yesterday.

"In the past only a ship or two would come to Hambantota Port but a few ships arrived a few days ago and we asked the Navy to ensure their safety as there was a strike on the premises. On 7 January 2017 the port will be handed over to a new company. We were very concerned, that is why we asked the Navy Commander to be there, as we are bound by international accords to ensure the safety of these ships," he said.

Wickremesinghe added that a journalist has lodged a complaint with the Tangalle Police even though the incident took place in Hambantota.

"I would like tell media associations that they should complain to the proper Police authority. It is learnt that this journalist had entered a high security zone without permission," he said.
The Prime Minister added that the K-Line shipping company has asked the government for US$ 400,000 in compensation for losses caused in delays at the harbour and that he had advised Minister Malik Samarawickrama to negotiate with the shipping companies to come to a settlement.

"However, the China Merchant Company said they are sure they can solve this issue somehow. We have also requested the Navy Commander to establish a Navy camp in the Hambantota Harbour premises. We will also establish an air force camp near the Mattala Airport to provide security in times of need," he said.

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