Rishad ordered to appear in court

Minister Rishad Bathiudeen was ordered by the court of appeal today to be present in court on September 5 and show cause as to why he should not be punished over the threats on the Mannar Magistrate.

A petition was filed in court against the minister alleging that he had threatened and intimidated the judge last week.

The incident had reportedly taken place when a group of Muslim fishermen were protesting last week against Tamil fishermen who were occupying a fishing market.

Angered by an earlier ruling given by the Mannar judge that the Tamil fishermen can remain at the fish market as they had been there for several years, the Muslim fishermen staged a protest and also attacked the court premises last week.

Riot police were forced to fire teargas to disperse the crowd and local media later reported that the minister had threatened the judge and told him to reverse his decision.

Lawyers in the north staged protests last week demanding that the minister be arrested over the threats on the judge.

Protests by the lawyers continued this week as well in Colombo and other parts of the country.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa has later said that he will look into the issue. Minister Rishad Bathiudeen has however denied any wrongdoing.