Sri Lanka arrests MP Namal over anti-India protest
By Our Police Correspondent
Oct 10, 2017 22:29 PM GMT+0530 | 2 Comment(s)
ECONOMYNEXT - Sri Lanka's police arrested Namal Rajapaksa and two of his legislator colleagues Tuesday for their role in leading a violent anti-India demonstration last week.
Police said in a statement that Rajapaksa was taken into custody after he gave a statement to the Hambantota police over his role in Friday's demonstration that was broke up by police just before it reached the Indian consulate.
Members of parliament D. V. Chanaka and Prasanna Ranaweera and three others were also taken in along with Namal, a police statement said.
It said they were to be taken before a magistrate.
Video footage of the demonstration showed Namal chanting anti-India and anti-China slogans while marching towards the Indian consulate at Hambantota.
He accused the government of trying to sell the Mattala Rajapaksa international built by his father at a rock bottom price to an Indian company.
Hundreds of protesters tried to break through barricades but police fired teargas and water cannon to stop them reaching the consulate.
Five protesters and four policemen were injured. A total of 28 people, including six women were arrested on Friday and another five were arrested on Monday.
The airport in Rajapakse's home constituency of Hambantota is one of several state-owned white elephants that were built under the former president and have never turned a profit.
It is one of the world's least used airports, servicing just one flight a day.
The new government out Mattala on the market along with the Hambantota port. In July, the government sealed a billion-dollar deal with a Chinese state-owned company to take over a majority stake in the loss-making Hambantota port. (COLOMBO, October 10, 2017)