Rambukkana shooting: Ministry Secretary, IGP to make statements | Daily News

Rambukkana shooting: Ministry Secretary, IGP to make statements

Public Security Minister Prasanna Ranatunga said he had instructed the Ministry Secretary and the IGP to issue a clarification regarding the incident in Rambukkana.

Addressing Parliament yesterday, he said that his government respects the people’s right to protest, but also a government that protects the rights of the people who do not protest and their right to engage in their day-to-day activities without hindrance.

“In all previous protests, the police which is entrusted to maintain public law and order, acted with utmost dedication. They extended their utmost commitment in safeguarding the rights of the general public in their day-to-day activities. Even yesterday there were protests in various places and we say the publicity that was given to them on social media. The police have identified them. We even witnessed the JVP bring people in buses for their protests recently. We also saw how the SJB supporters took the lead in organizing protests in various parts of the country. We have the relevant photos and videos.”

He said that in Tuesday’s protest in Rambukkana roads were blocked using buses and the daily activities of the public was affected as a result. He noted that this is the unfortunate situation the country is in today, adding that those who led and supported the protests should be held responsible.

“The police took all possible measures to control the Rambukkana protest. For almost ten hours these protestors blocked the roads, railway lines and also behaved in an unruly manner. School children and those who were travelling from offices were greatly inconvenienced by their actions. These unruly protesters had set fire to a three wheeler. When they were trying to set fire to a fuel bowser carrying 33,000 liters of fuel, the police acted according to the powers given to them in order to prevent it. If this bowser was set ablaze, there would be no Rambukkana. The police acted in accordance with the Police Ordinance and the orders given to them.”

According to the Police Ordinance and the Penal Code, the police took action to control the situation. A senior police officer at the scene had to take a decision. However, the police had shot them having tried everything possible to control the situation without using force.

The minister said that a special team has been appointed under the leadership of the Avissawella SSP to investigate the Rambukkana incident.

He said a special committee has also been appointed under the leadership of a state ministry secretary and including the Public Security Ministry Additional Secretary and the Defence Ministry’s legal advisor.

Ranatunga said that the this committee will investigate the shooting incident in Rambukkana and the report on their findings would be presented to parliament.

The minister also said that a request had been sent to the Human Rights Council to conduct a separate independent and impartial inquiry into the incident.

“The protesters tried to set fire to the fuel bowser. If that happened there would have been a huge disaster. Due to such an incident in Sierra Leone in 2021, around 151 people were burnt to ashes. We are entrusted to protect the lives of the public,” he added.

Minister Ranatunga said that from the incident where protests were held at the President’s residence and the incidents and protests that followed, the police had acted very patiently and tolerantly. He added that the children of those who instigate these protesters are safe at home while they are endangering the lives of the innocent children of the innocent public, adding that he is regretful over their actions to sacrifice the lives of these innocent people.

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