Prompt action by police prevented a large swathe of central Sri Lanka being engulfed in communal violence last weekend.
Multiple sources told RepublicNext that the violence in the Kandy district was to follow a “protest march” being organized by Sinhala nationalists in the Digana area.
They had information that the marchers intended to attack Muslim shops in the area.
The march was being organized by the leader of the extremist Mahason Balakaya Amith Weerasinghe.
Police searched Weerasinghe’s house and warned him against staging the march.
Yesterday Police arrested Weerasinghe from his home in Teldeniya.
Weerasinghe has already been charged in connection with complicity in the attacks on Muslim shops and homes in the Digana, Teldeniya and Udispattuwa areas in February and March last year in which three people were killed and a large number injured.
He is currently out on bail.
Police have also detained another Sinhala extremist Dan
Priyasad leader of the so-called Sinha-Le organization.
Lawyers said Priyasad is being held under Emergency
Priyasad has been charged with racial attacks before. He was
implicated in the attacks on the Rohingya refugees in Mount Lavinia as well as the Digana incidents.
Among other key persons in detention is Namal Kumara, the former police informant who gained notoriety by accusing senior police officers of an alleged VIP assassination plot.
Kumara was spotted at the Hettipola police station in a crowd that gathered to force police to release four rioters who had been arrested.
Eventually MP Dayasiri Jayasekara who is a local representative and an attorney –at-law arrived and had police release the four men.
Jayasekara told RepublicNext that these men “had been arrested in Bingiriya and then brought to Hettipola. So I took them back to Bingiriya and handed them over to police there.”
He did not say why he did so, and what his interest in these alleged rioters was.