The Police stated that if there is a complaint about property damage or looting in the Presidential Secretariat, the President’s House, or the Temple Trees occupied by the people, the necessary investigations will be launched.
Police Spokesman, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), and Attorney-at-Law (AAL) Nihal Thalduwa said: “All these three buildings are public property. If there is any property damage or looting in these buildings, the relevant agencies should lodge a complaint. For example, if something has been misplaced in the President’s House, the Presidential Secretariat should lodge a complaint.”
When asked as to whether legal action would be initiated against the people who entered the Presidential Secretariat, the President’s House, and the Temple Trees, as they are public property, he stated that according to the existing provisions, legal action could be initiated, but a problematic situation arises regarding the practicality of this, due to the prevailing situation.
“It was because these are public properties that security forces, including the Police, tried to prevent people from entering them, but somehow the people have entered them. Legal action can be taken against such incidents, but only to a certain practical level. Given the current situation, it is questionable as to whether legal action could be initiated,” added SSP Thalduwa.
Hundreds of thousands of people from all over the country marched to the Galle Face Green last Saturday (9), demanding the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, and the government. The people eventually took over the Presidential Secretariat, the President’s House, and the Temple Trees (the official residence of the Prime Minister). The three buildings are still occupied, with protesters stating that they will remain so until Rajapaksa resigns.