Three more suspects have been arrested by the Mount Lavinia Police today in connection with the assault on three referees during the rugby match between Science College and S. Thomas’ College at the Air Force ground in Ratmalana on Sunday (June 30).

The incident occurred when a questionable decision on a try or no try by on-field referee Ishanka Abeykoon, after consulting with Assistant Referee Jeewaka Fonseka, led to the disallowance of the try. This prompted some spectators supporting the home team, Science College, to attack the match officials. The referees were later admitted to Kalubowila Hospital for treatment.

Following the incident, the police arrested two Advanced Level students and an alumnus of Science College on Monday. They were released on Tuesday after being produced in court. The arrested students were residents of Mt. Lavinia, Dehiwala, and Ratmalana.

Investigations continued to arrest other suspects involved in the assault. Amidst the probe, three more suspects, including players suspected to be of a leading rugby club, were arrested after they surrendered to the Mount Lavinia Police through their lawyers. The suspects were remanded until Friday (July 5) for an identification parade.

Meanwhile, the Sri Lanka Schools’ Rugby Football Association (SLSRFA) has launched an independent investigation into the incident, alongside the ongoing police investigations.

As a result of the incident, the Sri Lanka Rugby Football Referees (SLSRFR) decided to abstain from officiating matches for the next two weeks. Consequently, the rugby matches scheduled for this week under the Schools Rugby League 2024 have been postponed until July 15, 2024.

DM