Armed Opposition gangs on rampage in Polonnaruwa:
UPFA campaign office attacked
Narrow escape for Minister Sirisena:
A group of about a thousand UNP and JVP supporters armed with clubs,
iron rods and swords came in procession and attacked the Polonnaruwa
election campaign office of the UPFA causing severe damage to it.
They also made efforts to attack SLFP General Secretary and
Agriculture and Mahaweli Development Minister Maithripala Sirisena but
Police and members of the Ministerial Security Division brought the
group under control.
However, some of the Ministerís security personnel and the
Polonnaruwa District Party Organizer Ranasinghe were slightly injured in
the attack. They caused severe damage to the campaign office, Police
Police and the Ministerís security personnel had to make a great
effort to prevent the attack on the Minister.
The election campaign office was completely damaged by the attack.
The Minister was attending a meeting of the SLFP Womenís Committee at
the Pulathisipura auditorium and had arrived at the campaign office on
hearing of the arrival of a group that came there in procession. The UNP
and JVP thugs attempted to attack the Minister. Police and his bodyguard
prevented the attack with difficulty. If the Minister was not taken away
by the Police and not for his security he would have been severely
injured, Police said.
Residents of the area said they had earlier informed the Police that
a group of JVP and UNP supporters were collecting arms but apparently
the Police had not checked the information and taken action against
those who had collected arms.
Minister Maithripala Sirisena making a statement to the media after
the incident said though NDF Presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka was
pledging to usher in peace, law and order his supporters were sent on
missions of violence. Polonnaruwa Police are investigating.