Deputy Minister's detention extended
[TamilNet, Thursday, 15 November 2001, 22:42 GMT]
The Gampaha Magistrate Thursday extended the remand order on the Deputy Minister Mr. Reggie Ranatunge till November 20. Mr. Ranatunge is in remand custody at the Colombo National Hospital in connection with the death in Minuwangoda of a supporter of the main opposition United National Party (UNP), Lionel Rodrigo.
In the meantime Gampaha High Court Judge Mr.Ranjith de Silva Thursday put off the inquiry into the bail application submitted on behalf of Mr. Ranatunge for November 20.
The postponement was given to accommodate a request by the State Counsel who appeared for the prosecution to furnish a final report in connection with the alleged murder.
Meanwhile a UNP supporter who sustained injuries in a clash which erupted at UNP election meeting held at Negombo Wednesday night died later in the hospital. At that time of clash, Mr. Ranil Wickremasinghe, UNP leader was on the stage, sources said. The driver of the van, which knocked down the deceased, was later released by the Negombo Magistrate on surety bail.
Police Election Secretariat said number of incidents related to election violence has increased to 755 Thursday morning at 6 a.m.
During the last twenty hours that ended Thursday morning, 51 complaints had been lodged with the Police throughout the country. Of them the UNP has lodged 395 and 243 by the ruling Peoples' Alliance. The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna has lodged 30 and 25 by Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, police sources said.
The Catholic Bishops' Conference Thursday appealed to political parties to stop all forms of violence and illegal activities. It further asked all religious leaders to educate the masses in this regard by setting up peace committees to ensure violent free general election. "Party leaders should ask their supporters to respect law and order in the country," the Catholic Bishops Conference stated in its message.