Stern action against rumour-mongers | Sunday Observer

Stern action against rumour-mongers

19 November, 2017

Stern action will be taken against anyone attempting to resort to racist propaganda following the tense situation reported from Gintota on Friday, warned Minister Sagala Ratnayake.

According to the Minister of Law and Order, certain political elements are now attempting to disseminate false videos and news on social media platforms to stir up communal sentiments.

“I am aware that some political groups are now on a desperate mission to turn this minor brawl into a Sinhala-Muslim clash,” the Minister said while urging the public to not be misled by false propaganda.

The Minister also confirmed that the situation has been brought under control, with law and order being established in the area. While the Minister visited Gintota yesterday to observe the situation, he also extended his gratitude to all parties that acted responsibly to avoid a bloodbath.

Following the Minister’s warning, the Inspector General of Police, Pujith Jayasundara has ordered the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to identify people spreading false propaganda and rumours regarding the incident on social media networks.

“We have received a number of reports regarding false information being shared on the internet,” Police spokesperson SP Ruwan Gunasekara said, adding that the Police will arrest and enforce the law against such people.

A tense situation arose on Friday when two groups clashed after a series of incidents. The initial tense situation had arisen after an accident that had occurred on Monday, November 13.

According to the Police, while the two parties involved in the accident had come to a settlement, a group of people had attacked two youths in the Vidanagama area in Gintota over the accident, despite tnem not being involved in it.

Police acted promptly under the instructions of President and the Prime Minister declaring curfew till 9 a.m. yesterday while around 300 police officers including STF personnel were deployed to maintain law and order. Four people were injured while the Police have arrested 19 in connection with the incidents. The suspects who were produced before the Galle Magistrate were remanded until November 30. 

Curfew was imposed in Gintota, Maha Hapugala, Welipitimodara, Ukwatta, Piyadigama and Kurunduwatta areas yesterday at 6 pm which continued until 6 am today. The ground situation remains stable and is being monitored by the Police and the STF. Curfew was imposed as an additional security measure, the Police said.