Fifty three protestors who were arrested this afternoon, (June 9) were granted bail when they were produced before Fort Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake, late in the evening.

They were arrested  when they gathered in the Colpetty area and near the Lipton Circus in Colombo, in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, that has gathered momentum around the world.

While the Black Lives Matter movement grew following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, police in Colombo obtained a Court Order to stop the protest which had been planned for today, by the Frontline Socialist Party.

The police in Colombo obtained the Court Order citing the COVID-19 health reasons, which barred protestors from gathering outside and in the vicinity of the United States embassy, which is situated in Colpetty.

Protests at the Lipton Circus.
Protests at the Lipton Circus.

While some protestors were reported to have gathered near Colpetty junction, many others had protested at the Lipton Circus, where photos taken just before the arrests, show participants holding placards and observing the required distance as per health regulations.

Protestors who defied the Court order questioned the ban, citing police inaction in arresting those who ignored the curfew and quarantine laws to attend the late M P Mr. Thondaman’s funeral a few weeks ago.

Amongst those arrested at the protest this afternoon were some leaders of the Frontline Socialist Party, and lawyers.

Meanwhile releasing a brief statement, the USA Embassy in Sri Lanka stated that it had not requested that the protest be blocked adding that they support the right of Sri Lankan’s and all people to stage peaceful protests.

Counterpoint  learns that President Counsel Saliya Peiris  and nearly 30 other lawyers had appeared for the protestors.





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