IUSF convener remanded for violating bail conditions

The Colombo Fort Magistrate today ordered the convener of the Inter-University Students’ Federation (IUSF) Lahiru Weerasekara to be remanded till February 9.Lahiru Weerasekara was arrested and remanded for violating a condition imposed when he was granted bail over an earlier case. (Colombo Gazette)

Surrey Police under fire for tweet sympathising with uprooted travellers

Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. She said: “We are all incandescent with rage because of that [police] tweet. “We appreciate some of the problems that the travellers find themselves in when finding places to stay, but the attitude of the police has been a major problem and it is extremely worrying for the police to take that view. “We can take a very liberal approach, as the police seem to be doing, and say these people have every right to live where they want, but some of the travellers seem very intent on causing a great deal of disruption.  But Karen Randolph, a councillor who represents Thames Ditton, said the remarks had left residents feeling “completely unsupported”. A police force has come under fire after it told a community fed up with travellers to consider how “upsetting” it would be to be “uprooted every few days”.Elmbridge Police in Surrey posted the sympathetic tweet on its account, which left residents “incandescent with rage”, after settlers illegally set up camp in Long Ditton.Villagers had complained children’s scooters had been stolen from playgrounds and shops were forced to close early because of shoplifting after travellers moved onto Long Ditton recreation ground on Sunday.The group arrived after they were allegedly evicted from a public park in Cobham, six miles away, on Sunday.Elmbridge Police force tweeted: “If we evidence a criminal damage then we would act. But can’t usually. You say upsetting to endure, consider for a second, how upsetting it would be, being uprooted every few days. That’s why we always act in the best interests of all parties with proportionality and legality.”Further tweets were posted in which police said they had attempted to “enlighten followers” to an approach needed towards travellers and added the force was an “inclusive organisation” open to “educated conversation.” “It’s very distressing for local residents, because they feel threatened and intimidated. We are left without any ability to confront it and we feel totally unsupported – especially with that police tweet.”The travellers were served with an eviction notice to leave Long Ditton on Wednesday.A spokesman for Surrey Police said: “We are aware that the wording of the tweet on the Elmbridge Beat Twitter account hasn’t been well received. “The tweet was intended to be impartial and to encourage both sides of the discussion. “We appreciate the concern it has raised, given the impact unauthorised encampments have had on the county, however we serve all communities equally and will not tolerate discriminatory behaviour.” We are all incandescent with rage because of that [police] tweetCouncillor Karen Randolph If we evidence a criminal damage then we would act. But can’t usually. You say upsetting to endure, consider for a second, how upsetting it would be, being uprooted every few days. That’s why we always act in the best interests of all parties with proportionality and legality.— Elmbridge Police (@ElmbridgeBeat) August 7, 2018 read more