Yasir: Why do you think it had to happen? Weren’t a part of it, a bit outside…but, judging from guys’ opinions, why do you think it happened?
P: I think those who went to use violence, used violence, they seem to have run. I think the people [attackers] who got there [to MDP Haruge] are those who gave them [alleged violent protesters] chase. Maybe that’s what gave them the spirit. We had information they [protesters] were coming with things like planks to commit violence. If so, they must have given chase. That must be the people who ended up there [at Haruge].
Yasir: What we saw next is, when the guys returned, you were all in very high spirits — we even saw what looked like celebrations. How did all that happen, the applause?
P: Even when we came back from Artificial Beach some of the Capital Police guys were clapping.
Yasir: Clapping? Is that so?
P: Yes! What I think is that there were orders issued in the past that just weren’t acceptable. They kept accumulating and accumulating until some people stood up and said, We won’t do that anymore, an order, an unconstitutional order, we will not obey again. Once somebody said that, I think it’s about the people among us who made the refusal.
Yasir: What is an unconstitutional order?
P: For example at the Artificial Beach, believing that fighting will break out between the two sides, having seen it, hearing what was being shouted—it was filth from one side to the other, they were screaming all this to protest. We heard from the public there were some people with all sorts of implements lurking behind protesters on the eastern side of Kuda Henveiru. People who were on this side were carrying implements too. If this side charged, that side would too, we would be in the middle, and it may all become something major. So, being privy to this information, to abandon the scene without any reinforcements, in our view, is an unconstitutional order. Because it incites fighting among the general public. For this, we will not give a chance.
Yasir: So, the first round—the first time when you went from Artificial Beach to the Republic Square, the Capital Police guys praised you. Was that because you refused to immediately obey the order you received then?
P: We refused to obey the order and didn’t come here until after the military arrived.
Yasir: There were many guys from the Capital Police at the Republic Square?
P: There were some people assigned to the republic Square area, too. Republic Square area, our real place is the Republic Square. It’s from there we move, every night we move to the Republic Square for the start of the protests, it is from there that we move to other places. That’s where people stay, really.
Shafeeu: You would have seen the faces of various offenders—throwing stones and things in the city—these people. In the days leading up to this, did you see any political figures as providing safety to such people?
P: I know from the information I get from people talking. I haven’t seen.
Shafeeu: What kind of talk?
P: For instance, talk of people being paid and sent out.
Shafeeu: Who do you hear is paying them?
P: For instance, Kuda Henveiru—or groups from Kuda Henveiru, we…