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Trade union leader arrested in Sri Lanka for desecrating Presidential Flag

The 54-year-old man has been identified as Udeni Kalutantri, also a port security officer. He was arrested after he surrendered to the Dam Street Police in the capital Colombo, the Daily Mirror newspaper reported.

July 29, 2022 / 03:47 PM IST

A Sri Lankan trade union leader was arrested on Friday for unlawfully entering the President’s Office and desecrating the Presidential Flag by using it as a bedsheet, nearly three weeks after the mass uprising against the government led by former president Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

The 54-year-old man has been identified as Udeni Kalutantri, also a port security officer. He was arrested after he surrendered to the Dam Street Police in the capital Colombo, the Daily Mirror newspaper reported.

He had posted a video on social media using the President’s official flag as a bedspread, the Colombo Page news portal reported. Investigations revealed that the arrested person is the former vice president of the Samagi Sevaka Sangamaya, the main Opposition Samagi Jana Balawegaya party’s trade union, the newspaper reported.

Investigations revealed that the arrested person is the former vice president of the Samagi Sevaka Sangamaya, the main Opposition Samagi Jana Balawegaya party’s trade union, the newspaper reported. Sri Lanka Police said that he was arrested for unlawfully entering the President’s Office and for desecration of the President’s Flag.

The Police Media Spokesman said the individual would be questioned over the incident legal action will be initiated against him.

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The suspect stole the flag when Sri Lankan protesters in large numbers stormed the President’s House during the massive anti-government protest on July 9, which forced Rajapaksa to flee the country and later resign as president.

The Presidential Flag is personal to every President of Sri Lanka and its design changes when a new president assumes office.

On July 15, the then acting President Ranil Wickremesinghe decided to abolish the Presidential Flag.
PTI
first published: Jul 29, 2022 03:46 pm
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