Three trade union leaders including Ceylon Teachers’ Union President Joseph Stalin and Health Services Trade Union Alliance President Saman Ratnapriya were noticed to appear in Court on June 2 for the alleged violation of a Court order.
Colombo Fort Magistrate Thilina Gamage had earlier issued an order preventing the three trade union leaders attached to the Joint Trade Union Alliance (JTUA) from entering or organising May Day-related activities at the Hyde Park grounds and the streets in the vicinity while permitting the Ceylon Bank Employees’ Union (CBEU) to hold its May Day rally at the Hyde Park Grounds following a dispute between the JTUA and the CBEU.
Filing a further report in Court, the Slave Island Police said trade union leaders R.B. Sirisena, Joseph Stalin and Saman Ratnapriya had disregarded the Court Order and attempted to proceed towards May Day rally at Hyde Park through Union Place despite the Court order being read to them.
Slave Island Police told Magistrate that Senior Superintendent Palitha Siriwardena had instructed them not to violate the Court Order. Police alleged that they disregarded the Court Order after shouting out that the, “Police have obtained a Court Order after misleading the Court. We won’t accept it.”
Police said the three trade union leaders could be charged under section 55 (2) of the Judicature Act No 14 of 1976.
While giving permission to the CBEU to organise its May Day rally at the Hyde Park grounds, the Magistrate on April 30 issued an order preventing the JTUA from entering and organising the May Day rally within the grounds and on the streets of Union Place, Vauxhall Street and Darley Road as a measure of ensuring peace in the area. The Magistrate had also observed that if anyone violated the Court order, he or she could be charged for Contempt of Court. (Lakmal Sooriyagoda)