Roar Weekly News Round Up: Week 1, May 2016

In local news, it hasn’t been a great week for certain police officers ‒ or even MPs, as it turns out. Meanwhile, Senator Ted Cruz has withdrawn his US presidential candidacy, while a partial truce was declared in the Syrian city of Aleppo.

Local

Thajudeen Murder Case: Colombo Traffic DIG Questioned

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) on Wednesday (4) questioned Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police in charge of the Colombo Traffic Division, Amarasiri Senaratne, in connection with the investigation being carried out into the murder of national rugby player Wasim Thajudeen.  

DIG Senaratne has been in charge of the Colombo Police Traffic Division since 2012, the year in which the Thajudeen murder took place.

Last month, former Officer-In-Charge of the Narahenpita Police Crimes Division, Sumith Champika Perera, was arrested by the CID in connection with allegations of withholding information vital to investigations into Thajudeen’s murder, and is in remand custody till May 12.

Embilipitiya Controversy: Police Officials Charged With Murder

The Special Investigation Division of the Police Department issued charge sheets to ten Police officers on Wednesday (4), all of whom are believed to be connected to the death of 29-year-old Sumith Prasanna Jayawardena in January this year.

Prasanna is now alleged to have been shoved off the balcony of a three storey house in Embilipitiya, where he was attending a social function which was interrupted by police officials.

Following the controversy surrounding his death, a three-member committee was appointed by the National Police Commission, to carry out an investigation into the death .

Chaos In Parliament

MP Sandith Samarasinghe was injured during a brawl in parliament on Monday. Image credit: presstv/AP Photo

UNP MP Sandith Samarasinghe was admitted to the General Hospital after he suffered injuries to the face and head, during a clash in Parliament on Monday (2).

A tense situation prevailed in Parliament after MP Sarath Fonseka began speaking on the topic of withdrawing army security provided to former president and MP Mahinda Rajapaksa.

The special CID team which is conducting investigations into the brawl in Parliament later recorded statements from MPs who had been eyewitnesses to the altercation.

UNP MP Sandith Samarasinghe was discharged from hospital on Tuesday (3) afternoon.

Police Media Unit Suspended

The Police Media Unit was suspended from duty with effect from Monday (2), under the orders of the Ministry of Law and Order.

The decision to suspend the Media Unit was made by IGP Pujith Jayasundara, after officers of the Media Unit had allegedly given the media a verbal statement on the issue of the recent haul of arms in Chavakachcheri. In doing so, the Media Unit had defied the orders given by the IGP to issue only written statements on the Chavakachcheri incident.

According to the Daily News, police sources said that “the IGP has told top police officers that he would resume the functions of the Police media unit after necessary reforms.”

MR Loses Army security

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa had his army security personnel replaced with police this week. Image courtesy asiantribune.com

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s military security was withdrawn on Monday (2) and replaced by police security.

Fifty army soldiers assigned to Rajapaksa’s security were ordered to report back to Sri Lanka Army (SLA) Headquarters. The decision was taken by the Security Council to assign all VIP protection duties to the Police Department.

International

USA: Ted Cruz Drops Out; Rolling Stones Tell Trump To Stop Playing Their Songs

Senator Ted Cruz this week dropped out of the US polls. Image courtesy: newyorker.com

Sen. Ted Cruz suspended his presidential campaign on Tuesday (3) following his primary loss to Donald Trump in Indiana.

The senator campaigned earnestly in Indiana, with in the hope that more favourable demographics would help the senator secure a chunk of delegates.

Cruz announced his potential vice presidential candidate, former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, in Indiana last week. But as the primary neared, polls showed Trump pulling far ahead in Indiana.

Meanwhile, popular rock band Rolling Stones told Donald Trump on Thursday (5) to stop playing their songs during his presidential campaign.

A spokesperson for the band told Time magazine that, “The Rolling Stones have never given permission to the Trump campaign to use their songs and have requested that they cease all use immediately.”

It was also reported that the Trump campaign has been known to play songs by the Rolling Stones at different Trump rallies, but never asked the band for their permission to do so.

However, Trump refuted this, and told CNBC on Thursday that he and his campaign “have the rights to use” the songs.

Syria: Partial Truce Declared In Aleppo

Foreign media has reported an “uneasy calm” in Syria’s Aleppo, following a truce of sorts. Image credit: arrestedmotion.com

After a partial truce was declared in the war ravaged city of Aleppo, an “uneasy calm” was reported in the city on Thursday (5).

Some residents have told media that they had ventured on to the streets for the first time in days after the 48 hour “regime of calm” began early yesterday.

However, state media and monitors reported one death, following shelling by rebels overnight. According to the BBC, “fighting in Aleppo has threatened a nationwide cessation of hostilities aimed at bolstering peace talks.”

Nearly 300 people have died in the past two weeks, in a battle for control over Aleppo, between pro-government forces and rebels.

Cover image credit: Reuters

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