Former Deputy Mayor Azath Salley was admitted to hospital this evening. Salley had been on a hunger strike while being detained by the CID after he was arrested last morning.
Meanwhile UNP MP Karu Jayasuriya condemned in the strongest possible terms the arrest of Azath Salley. Jayasuriya said that his arrest – for allegedly inciting communal hatred under the prevention of terrorism act, is further proof that the Government continues to retain repressive war time laws to hunt political opponents in peace time.
“The arrest of Mr. Salley for alleged statements to a newspaper comes at the same time when a politician who is accused of a quadruple murder including that of a ruling party leader was granted bail. Sri Lankans are intelligent enough to see not only the irony of these events but the sheer shamelessness and the disgusting impunity with which the current regime governs. An alleged murder suspect is given police protection and a ceremonial welcome at the Presidential palace soon after receiving bail while an activist calling for unity and warning against an impending division is arrested for being a terrorist,” Jayasuriya said.
Jayasuriya said that with the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting due to be held in Sri lanka in November 2013 the world’s attention is drawn to our country.
“It is sad that our government continues to demonstrate that it does not adhere to any Commonwealth values that prescribe good governance, freedom of expression, democracy and the rule of law. While Sri Lanka has lost its standing as a shining democracy this regime seems determined to further tarnish our country’s image as a lawless land where goons rule and injustice prevails. I call upon all freedom loving Sri Lankans to recognize the grave injustices being carried out by the ruling regime. The intimidation of Mr. Azath Salley is not just aimed at an individual. It is aimed at an idea, an idea that all Sri Lankans can live as one, an idea that there will be justice in this land and above all an idea that Sri Lanka need not be consumed once again by the flames of hatred and war. It is an idea that is worth preserving and fighting for, even against the mightiest odds,” he said.