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Kilinochchi Magistrate court bans TNPF leader from foreign travel

Tamil Nationalist People’s Front (TNPF)  leader and MP Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam has been issued an international travel ban by the Kilinochchi Magistrate Court until he produces himself at the Maruthankerny police station over an incident where Ponnambalam has been found to be an “accused person” after a Sri Lankan intelligence officer wielded his gun at the Tamil MP.

Earlier today, Ponnambalam tweeted that the Colpetty police visited his Colombo home to serve him with a written summons, ordering him to produce himself at Maruthankerny police station tomorrow morning.

Ponnambalam refused to accept the written summons as it violated the Official Languages Policy because it was written only in the Sinhala language. Ponnambalam stated that he refused it as he cannot read or write Sinhala. As a result, the police read the summons informing the MP that he is to submit himself at the Maruthankerny police station on June 8 at 10am, and that the police have submitted a petition at the Kilinochchi Magistrate Court curtailing his freedom of movement by issuing an international travel ban, which the Court has granted, until the MP has made a statement at the relevant police station. 

Yesterday, Ponnambalam was told by the the officer-in-charge of the Marunthankerny police station that he is an accused person in the ongoing investigation regarding an incident that took place last week and that the Speaker of Parliament has been informed of the need to question and possibly arrest him. Despite speaking to the Deputy Speaker of Parliament and agreeing that all further steps regarding the incident can be taken after the next Parliamentary session is over, the Colpetty Police have visited him at his house in Colombo to serve a written summons.  

Ponnambalam was participating in a meeting last week in Maruthankerny which was disrupted when two unknown men refused to identify themselves. While the organisers were trying to verify everyone’s identity at the meeting, the two men refused to provide their details which resulted in an argument. 

Ponnambalam then intervened saying he has parliamentary privilege and required their identification. However, the two men failed to identify themselves and attempted to run away. When Ponnambalam tried to stop one of the men, he hit the TNPF leader before running away while the other man was caught and apprehended by the crowd.

Another police intelligence officer who was standing in the adjoining school grounds, then pointed a gun towards Ponnambalam. The sports  club members yelled out, causing the gun wielder to leave the scene. 

Although Ponnambalam and those present at the meeting called on the police to investigate and arrest the officer who wielded his gun at Ponnambalam and the other officer who hit him, Ponnambalam and his party members have been targeted by the police and arrested for their presence at the meeting. 


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