Sri Lankan Public Security Minister, Sarath Weerasekara, has instructed the police to remain calm when dealing with protesters.
The instruction comes as Sri Lanka’s police have arrested several leading student activists who were protesting the controversial KNDU bill as well as 38 teachers who have also been on strike. Weerasekara has claimed that a policeman lost two fingers whilst dealing with protesting teachers.
He went on to tell parliament that there was a time when protesters were baton-charged, tear-gassed during the Yahapalana Government and said not a single protesting teacher had been attacked by the Government.
His statement comes as Human Rights Watch issued a damning report on the Sri Lankan police highlighting instances of abuse and extrajudicial killings which have occurred under the cover of COVID-19.
HRW has urged Sri Lanka's international partners to "suspend their engagement with abusive Sri Lankan law enforcement agencies until there is demonstrated the political will to address the situation".
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