Opposition to protest against Weliweriya killings today

By Shamindra Ferdinando

In spite of President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s intervention to settle the Weliweriya issue, the UNP is scheduled to launch a major protest campaign in Colombo today against the use of the military and the police to suppress democratic opposition.

President Rajapaksa on Monday assured residents of Rathupaswela, Weliweriya that the Dipped Products factory in their area would be closed down if it was found to have caused the contamination of water or given time to relocate operations in a BoI zone in case it had adhered with regulations governing such an operation.

Opposition sources told The Island that an unprecedented army crackdown on people demanding clean drinking water, leading to the death of three persons and injuries to over a dozen others, wasn’t the only contentious issue. The Opposition was focusing on six major issues in line with their current strategy, the said.

Sources told The Island that the Opposition would take up the killing of Roshan Chanaka Ratnasekara (22) of Gal-Oluwa, Minuwangoda on June 1, 2011, Warnakulasuriya Anthony of Chilaw on Feb 12, 2012, during an STF crackdown on fishermen protesting against fuel price hike and the recent killing of three persons including two students at Weliweriya.

Other issues were the failure the government’s failure to solve the problems faced by carpenters of Moratuwa and the police turning a blind eye to the reign of terror on Noori Estate, Deraniyagala as well as the destruction of Rajanganaya reservoir by the ruling party politicians.

The Opposition has urged all those ‘oppressed by the ruling coalition’ to gather near the Fort Railway station today.

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