Police standby arresting school girl

The police media unit says the arrest of a 13 year old school girl for stealing coconuts in Horana was legal.
Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella had said yesterday that the issue was discussed at the Cabinet Meeting this week at length and President Mahinda Rajapaksa spoke very emotionally about it.
He said the President had ordered an urgent and special inquiry into the incident. The student stole the coconuts to sell and get money to pay to paint her school after the school principal had instructed the students to pay Rs. 800 each to paint the school building.
The police media unit said that some media had reported the issue should have been resolved at a mediation board instead of the police arresting the child.
However the police media unit says there is no legal provision to resolve the issue through a mediation board instead of arresting the child for committing the crime.
The police said the child was arrested based on a complaint lodged to the police by the owner of the coconut tree.
The police said the only way the child could be freed from the case is if the complainant had withdrawn the complaint against the child for stealing the coconuts. (Colombo Gazette)