Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Sri Lanka army kill protester, wound 15

02 August 2013, 16:06

Colombo - One person has been killed and about 15 wounded when Sri Lanka's military shot at protesters demanding clean drinking water, according to television footage and demonstrators.

The shooting happened on Thursday evening in Weliweriya, 20km northeast of the capital, Colombo, when more than 4 000 protesters had gathered to demand action after chemical emissions from a factory had polluted drinking water in about 15 local villages, said one protester, who spoke on condition of anonymity, fearing reprisals.

Residents have been demanding for more than a month that authorities close the factory, the protester said.

He said police used tear gas to break up the protest, but when protesters clashed with police, the army shot at them. He said soldiers shot at some protesters as they tried to flee.

Military spokesperson Brigidier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said on Friday that the army did not aim their guns at the protesters but shot in the air to disperse them.

He said "people with other agendas" were behind the protesters and had armed them with firearms and petrol bombs. He did not say who the instigators were or what their motives were.

However, footage from a local television station showed soldiers shooting at running protesters. One scene shows a wounded man being dragged away by another. Another man appears to be hit by a bullet while he tries to rescue a man lying on the ground.

Protesters are shown hurling rocks at the army.

Third incident

Police spokesperson Buddika Siriwardene confirmed that one person had died and 15 were hospitalised but declined to comment on the nature of the injuries.

Siriwardene said the situation arose because protesters blocked a main road, obstructing traffic, despite agreeing with authorities to call off the demonstrations until investigations into the possible chemical leak were complete.

He said the demonstrators struck police with stones and bottles.

Reporters said soldiers beat up several reporters and photographers covering the incident and smashed their cameras.

Kanchana Dissanayake, editor of Sinhala-language "Ada" (Today), said a photographer from the newspaper was admitted to a hospital after being beaten by soldiers.

Human rights activists have accused the Sri Lankan government of reacting sharply to any opposition to its rule since defeating Tamil Tiger rebels in May 2009, ending a nearly three-decade civil war.

The incident is the third in two years in Sri Lanka where police or military have used firearms on protesters. In 2011, a factory worker was shot dead during a demonstration, and in 2012 police shot and killed a fisherman who was protesting against rising fuel prices.

- AP

Tags sri lanka

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...