Ex-Parliamentarian Hirunika Premachandra and 14 others who were arrested by the Cinnamon Gardens Police on Monday (14) were released on a cash bail of Rs. 10,000/- each, and a personal bail of Rs. 5 Million each on Tuesday (15).
14 women including the former member of parliament, and one male were produced to Colombo Chief Magistrate Nandana Amarasinghe.
They were charged with violating the Police Ordinance and obstructing the duties of police officers.
The 15 suspects were moved to court by the Cinnamon Gardens Police at 9:15 AM, however, it was 11 AM when they were produced to the Magistrate.
When the Chief Magistrate questioned the B Report, the police officers noted that the B Report was taken away by Senior Officers.
Defence Counsel pointed out that there is an attempt to file charges for offences that were not committed by the suspects, by a new B report that could be prepared on the instructions of Senior Police Officers.
Thereafter, Sri Lanka Police produced the B Report to the Court, and ASP Neville De Silva the Director of the Colombo Crimes Division made submissions on behalf of Sri Lanka Police.
He told the court that the group did not inform Sri Lanka Police of their intentions to assemble, and illegally attempted to enter the road leading to the President's House.
He said that Sri Lanka Police is vested with the responsibility of protecting the President, and thus installed roadblocks to prevent the march.
The ASP told the court that Hirunika Premachandra had counter-protested by obstructing the duties of police officers, and as she is a woman she had used it as an advantage in previous instances where she embraced police officers who oppose protests and inconvenienced them.
He said the group that performed the street play were dressed in clothing similar to military attire.
The ASP also noted that 10 female suspects were arrested and moved to the Cinnamon Gardens Police, and thereafter they decided to sit down opposite the police station, once again obstructing the duties of the police officers.
He requested for the suspects to be remanded, as there were other suspects who needed to be arrested.
Counsel appearing for the suspects noted that the street play only depicted the plight of women in Sri Lanka.
Counsel also said that police officers obstructed the duties of the lawyers who appeared for the women, when their statements were being recorded at the Cinnamon Gardens Police.
The counsel appearing for the suspects also noted that the recent conduct of a Police Inspector showed the world how Sri Lanka Police treat women, and noted that the conduct of Sri Lanka Police is far worse than what is witnessed in Mozambique.
A group of lawyers including Rajith Lakmal, Gunaratne Wanninayake, and Athula Ranagala appeared for the suspects.