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SLHRC calls for Navy Commander’s report on journalist assault

(UDHAYAM, COLOMBO) – The Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission (SLHRC) has informed the Commander of the Navy Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne to produce details pertaining to allegations of assaulting a journalist during a protest at the Hambantota Port.

The Human Rights Commission made the request in writing.

The Navy Lieutenant Commander Chaminda Walakuluge has stated to media that the Navy Commander is overseas at present and would report to the Commission upon arrival in order to produce the required facts.

A group of employees of the Hambantota Port engaged in a protest in December demanding the government ensure them job security as the government prepares to lease the Port on shared basis to a Chinese firm.

The employees were charged of forcibly holding two ships that arrived at the Magampura Port while steps were taken by the Navy to release the ships on the advice of the government.

Subsequently a tense situation broke out between the employees and the naval officers.

When clashes broke out the Navy Commander was seen assaulting a journalist who had wrongfully entered the secured area.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe at the time noted that an investigation was being conducted into the incident.

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