President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka – Saliya Pieris PC has urged IGP – C.D. Wickramaratne to safeguard the life of Keerthi Ratnayake, a columnist at the Lanka E-News website who was arrested yesterday (14).
He was arrested by the Colombo Crime Division with regard to an article he had written for Lanka E-News stating that there is a threat of an attack to the Indian High Commission today (15) coinciding with the Independence Day of India.
The BASL President has written to the IGP in this manner after receiving a letter from Mr. Ratnayake’s lawyer – Attorney-At-Law Upul Kumarapperuma. The BASL President has also formally informed the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka on this regard.
In his letter to the BASL President, Mr. Kumarapperuma had stated he has learnt that a detention order is to be obtained under PTA for 03 days for investigations and that the CCD is planning to take Mr. Ratnayake to Kandy today morning. He adds that he fears for his client’s safety during the trip.
Meanwhile ‘Lanka E News’ states Mr. Ratnayake was initially called to appear before the Colpetty police station to give a statement on the aforementioned information and an officer attached to the High Commission was to accompany him there as well.
Contacting the London office of ‘Lanka E News’ around 9.00am yesterday, Mr. Ratnayake had informed them he was leaving for the Colpetty police, the website notes. However, he was arrested by the CCD soon afterwards.