Minister Rishard Bathiudeen has personally managed the operation to throw stones at the Mannar Magistrate s Court and shout in filth at the Mannar Magistrate.
He has worked from the Thalladi Army camp.
Bathiudeen s supporters who were arrested on the 16th for allegedly throwing stones at the houses of Tamil fishermen in the Vedithalathivu fishing village in Mannar were presented before court on the 17th. The attack on the house was over a dispute on the ownership of part of the Vedithalathivu fishing village.
Sources said that Bathiudeen had arrived at the army camp on a helicopter received on the order of the Defence Secretary. The minister has sought permission to travel to Mannar by helicopter saying he would intervene in the matter. About 1,000 Muslim fishermen had been outside the Mannar Magistrate s Court protesting. Attempts by the Mannar Police to set up a barricade to prevent the protestors from reaching the Magistrate s Court had been thwarted by Bathiudeen. Sources from Mannar say that the protestors had received the opportunity to protest outside the courthouse afterwards.
The police had not attempted to stop the protestors from throwing stones at the Mannar Magistrate s Court on a directive by HQI Thushara Daluwatte from the Mannar Police.
Sources said that the HQI was engaged in the business of selling fish to Kandy together with Bathiudeen s supporters.
Bathiudeen s supporters have started to pelt stones at the courthouse and some of the stones had hit police personnel as well. HQI Daluwatte had also been injured by a stone that had been thrown by the protestors. According to sources, the police had then fired tear gas to disperse the protestors.
The source who gave us the information said that both police and army personnel in the Mannar area were engaged in the fisheries business and even collected monies from lorries transporting fish at checkpoints.