Here is a press release issued by the Sri Lanka Army.
According to the powers of the Constitution of the Republic of Sri Lanka, members of the security forces and police officers are dedicated to maintaining law and order in the country to ensure the public safety of its people, public property and the country.
After independence, the security forces perform their duties by safeguarding the sovereignty of the people of the Republic established by the constitution as a sovereign state and ensuring their freedom of speech and movement.
It is no secret to all Sri Lankans that the disciplinary discipline of the security forces was very evident in all the public protests that started in May this year.
Apart from a few minor incidents of violence between the security forces and the protestors, there were no significant violations of the rule of law or violent acts during the recent protests, including the people’s protest at Colombo Fort on July 9. During that period, there were only some heated tensions between the two sides.
The Chief of Defense Staff, the three Army Commanders and the Inspector General of Police on more than three occasions publicly strongly urged the protesters to be peaceful, to protect government buildings and all property and to resolve the situation arising with the departure of President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa by the Constitution.
During the last 72 hours, in the meetings held with the Acting President and the Prime Minister, the Speaker and the leaders of the political parties, the Chief of Defense Staff, the three Army Commanders and the Inspector General of Police strongly requested to speed up the search for solutions to the political instability and economic crisis in the country and peaceful activists not to engage in violence. It was agreed that they should be controlled with minimum force without using full force as long as they do not damage public property.
However, contrary to the pledges given by the peaceful protestors, unfortunately, a group of those protestors broke away from the ‘non-violence’ approach and resorted to violent acts breaking law and order and trying to seize the Speaker’s official residence and the Parliament complex by Demolishing police roadblocks using machines.
To take over the Parliament complex, the only institution that can implement the country’s people’s sovereignty and constitutionally assigned democratic values.
But the protesters didn’t listen to the continuous requests for calmness from the protesters even on the evening of Wednesday (13) and the protesters aggressively tried to enter the parliament complex and beat the army soldiers on duty by covering them with iron rods, and helmets.
Two T-56 automatic firearms with their ammunition were snatched from the hands of the troops and two soldiers were brutally beaten to death. By now, the two seriously injured military personnel and other troops have been hospitalized for emergency treatment. The police have already been informed about the protesters who fled with these two weapons and about the disappearance of those weapons.
Using minimal force, the army personnel fired several shots in the air and some violent people were also taken into custody by the police. However, those violent people who tried to break into the Parliament complex were dispersed by the night of Wednesday (13) using minimal force and the situation was brought under control.
All those involved in increasing violence to harm security forces or public property should immediately refrain from such acts of violence. Otherwise, all the powers of the security forces will have to be used by the existing conditions The security forces, which are entrusted with the ancillary responsibility of protecting public property as well as all public places and public lives, are not at all reluctant to use that power.
It is further emphasized that the perpetrators themselves should bear the responsibility for the consequences that may arise in such a situation