Protestors occupying around the Bandaranaike Statue in the protest site removed

00:00 Jul 20 2022 Colombo Courts Complex

Based on a submission made by the Fort Police station about reports on impending damages to the SWRD Bandaranaike statue in the Galle Face protest site, Colombo Fort magistrate issued an order preventing protestors from gathering around 50 metres radius from the statue. On 22nd April, Tamil Guardian website published an article titled “Why Sri Lanka’s protestors must topple the statue of Bandaranaike in Colombo,” a protestor blindfolded the statue around a week later. In early May, Sri Lanka Freedom Party requested the Inspector General of Police to probe into the incident of blindfolding the statue. SWRD Bandaranaike (1899-1956) was the 4th Prime Minister of Sri Lanka who was assassinated by a Buddhist monk in 1956. He is also the founder of Sri Lanka Freedom Party, and reviver of Sinhala nationalism in Sri Lankan politics. He is also blamed for introducing the “Sinhala Only Act” that led to strong divisions between Sinhala and Tamil ethnic groups. Sinhala nationalist mob attacks targeting minority Tamils in Sri Lanka were heightened in the 1980s, almost two decades after his death, leading to a three decades long civil war. On 20th July 2022, the Colombo Fort Magistrate Thilina Gamage issued an order preventing anyone from reaching within 50 metre radius of the S W R D Bandaranaike statue which is located in the Galle Face Colombo, based on a submission made by the Fort Police station. Following the order, Police officers were deployed around the statue, and Police attempted to remove the protestors and their huts located within 50 metres radius distance from the statue. However, later protestors agreed to withdraw themselves voluntarily, keeping 50 metres distance from the statue.
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