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Weliweriya tense after man dies


Friday, 2 August 2013 - 11:19 AM SL Time


Weliweriya was still tense late tonight with soldiers patrolling the area after violence broke out this evening leaving one person dead and at leas 23 injured.

According to reports from the area, people were forced to stay indoors and there were also reports of electricity being disrupted in some parts of the village.

When contacted by the Colombo Gazette an army official admitted the situation was tensed after the violence.

Television footage showed soldiers firing in the air and at times directing their guns at the protesters who pelted stones and other objects at the troops during the violence earlier in the evening.

Some journalists covering the incident were also injured and admitted to hospital.

The clash broke out after villagers blocked the main Kandy Colombo road and protested over contaminated water as a result of, what they suspect is waste being dumped from a factory in the area.

When the police failed to clear the road for traffic the army had to intervene and the situation got out of control.

The government had later decided to temporarily close the gloves factory in the Gampaha area.

According to the police, the decision to temporarily close the factory was taken at a meeting held between officials and Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa today.

A five kilometer area is said to be contaminated and one resident told the Colombo Gazette that he even uses filtered water to have a bath.

With no pipe-borne water in the village the people depend mostly on water drawn from wells.

The chief incumbent of the Galoluwa Buddhist Temple, the venerable Siridhamma Thero had launched a fast unto death on Monday after talks held with the authorities to resolve the issue had failed.

The venerable Siridhamma Thero said that the residents in the area are demanding that the factory be shut down and safe drinking water assured to them.



Source(s)
• clombo gazette

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