Pettah Protest: Tear gas and water cannons fired, 33 arrested

Protest in Pettah Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka Police fired tear gas and water cannons to disperse a protest organized by the ‘Jana Aragala Viyaparaya’ against the economic burden on the people, urging the government to immediately intervene to prevent the sale of national assets.

According to the Sri Lanka Police, 33 persons, including 2 Buddhist monks and 3 females, have been arrested during the protest staged by the ‘Jana Aragala Viyaparaya’ in Pettah today (March 20).

At least 5 police officers have been injured during the clashes with protesters.

It is reported that Frontline Socialist Party (FSP) activist Duminda Nagamuwa and youth activist Lahiru Weerasekara are among those arrested during the protest.

Earlier, the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court rejected a request put forth by the police to prohibit the planned protest and march scheduled to take place at Viharamahadevi Park in Colombo.

The request was filed by the Cinnamon Gardens Police against the ‘Jana Aragala Viyaparaya’ of the Frontline Socialist Party.

However, Chief Magistrate Prasanna Alwis ruled against the request, allowing the demonstration to proceed as planned.

The protest march commenced near the Fort Railway Station, and the participants were heading toward Pettah when riot police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse them.