(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –Law and Order Minister Sagala Ratnayaka said Susantha Bandara Karunaratne, the journalist who claimed he was assaulted by a senior Police officer during a protest in Hambantota last week, had actively taken part in the protest.
“He was not assaulted when carrying out the duties of a journalist. Karunaratne’s active involvement in the protest, despite a court order, led to the confrontation with the Police,” the Minister said, commenting on the matter.
Daily News is now in possession of several photographs in which Susantha Bandara Karunaratne, the journalist who claimed he was assaulted by a senior Police officer, is seen actively taking part in the protest, holding placards.
“The law should apply to both sides equally. While the Police officer is under criticism for slapping a protester at the heat of the moment, it is also important to know that Karunaratne was not assaulted while covering the protest as a journalist. He was a protester actively taking part in the demonstration. The incident has to be understood in the right context,” Ratnayaka explained.
IGP Pujith Jayasundara has already called for a report on the incident from the regional Police chief