Investigations not yet over: SG
Nov 3, 2011

When the rights petitions of the aggrieved workers of the Katunayake Free Trade Zone complaining of police assault came up before the Supreme Court, the Solicitor General told Court that the investigation is pending and assured that the investigation would be completed within a month. Solicitor General Palitha Fernando informed Cour t the Confidential Interim Report has been filed with the Registrar of the Court and it would not be released until the completion of the investigation.

He also told Court that some medical reports from DMOS have not yet been received and the Bench comprising Chief Justice Shirani A.bandaranayake, Justices P.a.ratnayake and Suresh Chandra fixed the matter to be mentioned on January 19 to ascertain whether the medical reports have been filed.

The Court had already directed the Registrar of the Cour t to call for the Medico-legal Reports, treatment sheets, bed tickets and any other documents or reports pertaining to the petitioners within one month.

A number of workers of the Katunayake Free Trade Zone (FTZ) have filed 13 fundamental rights petitions through Attorney-at-Law Gowry Shangary Thavarasha against the impugned police assault on the peaceful demonstrators within the FTZ on May 30.

In their petitions, they state that the Katunayake FTZ is situated in the Gampaha District consisting of 190 hectares of land where there are about 50,000 workers and 84 factories. They state that on May 30, 2011, about 600 persons gathered there protesting the “Employees’ Pension Benefits Fund Bill” within the FTZ where there were hundreds of police officers present. They allege that around 12.03 p.m., the police officers present, suddenly without any warning used tear gas on the unarmed peaceful protest in an attempt to disperse the protesters.

They also allege that hundreds of police officers armed with firearms and iron poles charged the FTZ workers and some police officers allegedly threw stones and other unidentified objects at those who were attempting to flee. They allege they were critically injured and warded at several hospitals. They complain the conduct of the police officers are violative of the legitimate expression of their dissent depriving their right to freedom of expression, freedom of speech and freedom of peaceful assembly as well as their rights to freedom from tor ture and arbitrary arrest.

J.c.weliamuna, M.a.sumanthiran, Uditha Egalahewa, Saliya Peiris, Viran Corea, Eraj de Silva, Pulasthi Amarasinghe, Shantha Jayawardane and A.ANkatell appeared for the petitioners. Solicitor General Palitha Fernando appeared for the Attorney General.

Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka