Colombo, Oct 15 IANS | 10 months ago

Sri Lanka's main opposition Tuesday said it has been forced to rethink its support for a key summit to be held in the country after the police arrested one of its legislators.


United National Party (UNP) leader Ranil Wickremasinghe said the arrest of former foreign minister and UNP legislator Mangala Samaraweera was part of political revenge being meted out against the opposition, Xinhua reported.

Samaraweera was arrested after he surrendered to the police Tuesday over a recent clash involving members of the same party in the southern town of Matara.

Wickremasinghe claimed that the orders to arrest the popular opposition legislator came as a result of political pressure.

As a result, Ranil Wickremasinghe said, the UNP would need to reconsider its position on the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting summit to be held next month in Sri Lanka.

"Having the Commonwealth summit in Sri Lanka when there are political prisoners and when there is no independent police commission, independent judiciary or elections commission is a joke," he said.

Samaraweera was released on bail by the Matara magistrate later Tuesday.

Britain's Prince Charles will be among those visiting Sri Lanka for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).

The British high commission in Colombo said that the prince would represent the queen at the summit.

(Posted on 15-10-2013)