Five probed for rioting for assault on Sri Lanka envoy

 |Sep 6, 2016


Sri Lanka High Commissioner Ibrahim Sahib Ansar.
Sri Lanka High Commissioner Ibrahim Sahib Ansar.

The five men detained for allegedly assaulting Sri Lankan High Commissioner Ibrahim Sahib Ansar, are being investigated under Section 147 of the Penal Code for rioting.

They have been remanded until Wednesday to assist police investigations.

The suspects, aged between 27 and 56, were detained between 5pm Sunday and 7am on Monday by a special investigation team set up by Selangor police.

Three of them were detained in Sungai Siput, Perak, while two others were nabbed in Dengkil and Rawang in Selangor.

Police are on a manhunt for four others still at large, who were supposed to be involved in the assault, whom police have identified.

Airport CCTV camera video footage that went viral showed Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to Malaysia Ibrahim was assaulted at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) by five men on Sunday.

The High Commissioner was punched and kicked after sending off Daya Gamage, the country’s Primary Industries Minister, who was in Malaysia for the International Conference of Asian Political Parties.

Former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa was also in Malaysia to attend the event.

Rajapaksa attendance had drawn protests and saw demonstrations held by various Indian-based organisations in the country.

In a statement released by Sri Lanka foreign ministry, Colombo has condemned the attack on its envoy “in the strongest terms.”

Malaysia foreign ministry has also expressed the Government’s sympathies over the assault on Ibrahim.

“The Government of Malaysia expresses its sympathies to His Excellency Ibrahim Ansar and gives the assurance that the Malaysian authorities will investigate the incident and bring those responsible to justice,” it said in a statement on Monday.

The ministry said it will continue to work closely with the Sri Lanka High Commission in Kuala Lumpur to ensure that similar incidents will not occur in the future.

 Sri Lanka High Commissioner Ibrahim Ansar was assaulted at KLIA on Sunday.
Sri Lanka High Commissioner Ibrahim Ansar was assaulted at KLIA on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Selangor police chief  Abdul Samah Mat said police were looking into the backgrounds of organisations and individuals organisations who lodged 47 reports against Rajapaksa’s visit here last week.

The probe is to, among others, determine if there were any affiliations between the complainants and the Sri Lankan Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) organisation.

Abdul Samah said initial investigations revealed that the attack on Ibrahim was linked to the protests against Rajapaksa’s visit.

When asked on why there were no security details assigned to provide protection to the envoy at KLIA, he said police was not informed of Ibrahim’s plan to send a Sri Lankan minister to the airport.

He said the two policemen who broke up the attack on Ibrahim were also not aware of the envoy’s identity until much later.

On criticism hurled at police that the policemen had failed to make immediate arrests on those who attacked Ibrahim, Abdul Samah said the policemen’s concern at the time was to stop a fight and rescue the victim.

It was reported that Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said police are investigating the case according to procedures under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma).

The preventive law is also used to probe local groups which demonstrated support for LTTE, which has been banned by the United Nations, during their protests against Rajapaksa’s visit.