Police / Army probe Weliveriya incident

weliveriya clashes      The police is to investigate the clashes which broke out in Weliveriya. Minister and Gampaha District parliamentarian Lasantha Alagiyawanna said the CID will investigate the incident while the police says the CCD will investigate.

Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has said that the Weliveriya drinking water dispute was settled satisfactorily. However he said that  certain vested elements provoked the villagers into needless confrontations, the Government information department reported.

He said that the protesting public were satisfied with the solution offered to close a factory, which allegedly caused the contamination of water in the area, but those with political motives provoked some of the residents to stage protests.

Army Commander Lieutenant General Daya Ratnayake appointed a special board of inquiry headed by Major General Jagath Dias to investigate the army role in the clashes.

The army says it was forced to retaliate after the crowd had attacked soldiers during the tense situation in the town yesterday. Army spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasuriya said that most soldiers placed at Weliveriya have been withdrawn and only a few still remain there.

“They are there to assist the police and we expect them to be removed from there soon. While assisting the police in its investigations the army is conducting it own internal investigation,” he said.

The Gampaha Magistrate inspected the site of the clashes in Weliveriya yesterday and had later ordered the police to instruct the public to appear in court on August 8 if they want to make statements on the incident.

Meanwhile issuing a  statement the U.S Embassy urged restraint from all sides.stating that it was concerned about the violence in yesterday’s protest in Weliveriya, and urged the Government to respect the rights of people to protest peacefully.

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