Wednesday, December 23, 2015
"I wanted to prevent a family from breaking up"- Hirunika Premachandra
Dismissing allegations that she had threatened and assaulted a 26 year old man who had been abducted by her support staff in a "Defender" vehicle, UNP MP Hirunika Premachandra said today that all she wanted to do was to prevent a family from breaking up.
At a special media briefing yesterday evening, the MP, who is at the center of the controversy, said that she wanted to help one of her staff members, as his family was about to be broken up by an outsider. Admitting that it was wrong for her support staff to carry out the unlawful act of bringing a person forcibly to her office, Ms. Premachandra said that if the injustice that that was done to her staff member was referred to the police it would have taken days for the matter to be resolved.
She said the abducted man, who was also married had been having an extra marital relationship with the wife of one of her staff members who had two children. She said the abducted man had forcible taken away the wife of the staff member and was keeping her.
When the staff member went with a group of people to talk to him at the drapery shop where he worked he had refused to come out. Then the group had dragged him out and had taken him from there, Ms. Premachandra admitted. The group had brought the man to her office in Kolonnawa and reported to her. She said she had tried to sort out the matter and advised him to end the affair as it would break up another family. When asked whether she did the right thing, as a responsible public representative, to interfere in a personal problem in such a manner, she said that all she wanted to do was to save a family. She added that she had willingly brought her staff members who were involved in the abduction to the police station along with the vehicle to cooperate with the police inquiry.
In a statement to the police a 26 yea old youth who was abducted by some supporters of parliamentarian Hirunika Premachandra said he was personally threatened by her, the Police Spokesman said yesterday. The drapery store employee identified as U. Priyankara told the Dematagoda Police that he was forcibly taken away by six men in a Land Rover Defender on Monday afternoon. The victim who turned up at the police station around 10.00 p.m. that evening with injuries on his face and body said the men had forcibly taken him in a Defender to an undisclosed location where he was confronted by Ms. Premachandra.
Police said according to the victim's statement he had been asked by her to cease a relationship he was having with the wife of a close supporter of Ms. Hirunika. However, it is unclear whether the youth had been assaulted by the gang prior to or after his confrontation with the MP. The abductors had reportedly left him on the road following the confrontation. Although the MP had agreed to send her supporters to the police station immediately after she was contacted by the Dematagoda Police to inquire about the vehicle, registered in her nameused in the abduction, had failed to do so on even till last morning.
The Police were preparing to arrest the identified suspects when they surrendered to the Colombo Crime Division yesterday evening along with the Defender vehicle. A Senior CCD officer said all six suspects were arrested and statements recorded and would also to record a statement from Ms. Hirunika as well. The abducted youth who was produced before Colombo JMO on Monday night was admitted to the National Hospital.