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Protesters face charges

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Colombo Magistrate Court issued notice on Friday evening for 27 identified persons including nine United People Freedom Parliamentarians to appear before the courts on May 08 on the charge of contempt of court. The court had issued an order banning the protests in front of the Commission to Investigate Bribery and Corruptions on April 23 when the former Defense Ministry Secretary was due at the Commission for a questioning.

The Nation learns the 27 include Parliamentarians, local government members and several known personalities in politics. Supporters of former Defense Ministry Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa engaged in a protest in front of the Bribery Commission despite the court order. However, Rajapaksa, who appeared before the Commission, had asked for another date as he couldn’t remind the subject which the Commission had questioned him.

Supporters who gathered at the premises also used a mini public address system and several participants made comments against the arrest and questioning of former public servants. Rajapaksa also thanked the gathering and voiced that that kind of questioning will badly affect the public sector.

Former Ministers Dulles Alahapperuma, Bandula Gunawardene, Gamini Lokuge, Jayantha Ketagoda, Sarath Weerasekara and several other parliamentarians have been summoned by the court on May 08. The list also includes Western Province Chief Minister Prasanna Ranathunga, WPC councilor Udaya Gammanpila and several others Members of Parliament to be arrested for protesting in front of bribery commission.

A fax report has been sent to the chief magistrate in regard to the fate of the Members of Parliament who took part in the protest held in front of the bribery commission.

The Members of Parliament who took part in the protest in the bribery commission yesterday are said to be taken to court for violating a court order banning protests in front of the commission.

Many Members of Parliament including Former education minister Bandula Gunawardane and others such as Udaya Gammanpila and Roshan Ranasinghe took part in the protest. The protest was made up Rajapaksa supporters who lined up in front of the commission during Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’s visit to the bribery commission after he was summoned over various allegations made over him. Soon after he had left to visit his brother Basil Rajapaksa who is at Welikada prison hospital after he was arrested by the Financial Crimes Division.

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