Journalists who covered yesterday’s tense situation in Kompannaweediya that arose with the demolition of so-called unauthorized structures were manhandled and assaulted allegedly by a group who claimed to be from the UDA.
Daily Mirror journalist Yohan Perera who was beaten was admitted to the National Hospital.
Daily Mirror graphic journalist Sandun Kodituwakku and photo-journalist Pradeep Dilrukshana were also manhandled when they tried to rescue Yohan Perera.
P.M. Rizwy an eyewitness said men in civvies had held Yohan Perera and beaten him on the face while verbally abusing him. Mr. Rizwy said a senior police officer who was in the vicinity had shouted not to assault Mr. Perera since he was from the media. However he was released after several people and his fellow journalists had intervened.
Urban Development Minister Dinesh Gunawardena condemned the assault and denied any involvement of UDA employees. “I don’t think the attackers were from the UDA. Whoever it is I condemn this attack. I will conduct an inquiry to verify whether any UDA employee was involved,” he said.
Police Media Spokesman SSP Ranjth Gunasekara said that Kompannaweediya police had been instructed to deploy a special team to investigate the assault on Daily Mirror journalists