UK Foreign Office Minister, Alistair Burt said he noted with “serious concern” emerging reports of the violent disruption of peaceful protests by the Sri Lankan security forces in Weliweriya, in which at least 3 people died.
“My thoughts are with the families of those who were killed or injured,” he said.
Burt urged the authorities to ensure the right to peaceful protest is protected and to ensure a swift and transparent investigation, the British Foreign Office said.
The U.S. Embassy in Colombo had also last week expressed concerns over the incident.
The Embassy called on the Government of Sri Lanka to respect the rights of people to protest peacefully, and urged restraint from all sides.
The Catholic Archbishop of Colombo Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith today condemned the attack carried out by “some elements of the forces” on people who had sought refuge at St. Anthony’s Church in Weliweriya during the clashes between the army and public in the area last week.
He said that it was sacrilege for anyone to enter such sacred precincts with arms in their hands and to behave in a violent manner there.
“Such actions cannot be accepted by anyone. It is always necessary that we preserve the sanctity of sacred premises of any religion and respect the people who enter such premises seeking protection.” he said.
Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith called on the government to conduct an impartial and just inquiry into the incident where innocent people were killed.
The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) had earlier said that a priest and a nun at the church were assaulted by troops during the violence in Weliweriya last week.
The BASL said that a team of lawyers had visited Weliweriya and recorded statements from people in the area as well as doctors who had treated the injured.
“The people still live in fear,” an executive member of the BASL had told the Colombo Gazette.
The BASL will be recording more statements over the next few days and will then decide on the next course of action.
Three people have died so far and many others sustained injuries during the “battle for water” at Weliweriya.
The Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission has also launched an investigation into the incident. (Colombo Gazette)
වැලිවේරිය සිද්ධිය ගැන බ්රිතාන්ය අවධානය යොමුකරයි…
පසුගිය සතියේදී වැලිවේරිය ප්රදේශයෙහි සිඳුවූ සිද්ධිය සම්බන්ධයෙන් අවධානය යොමුකර ඇතයි බ්රිතාන්යාව ප්රකාශකර තිබේ. සාමකාමී ලෙස පැවැත්වූ විරෝධතාවයකදී ප්රචණ්ඩත්වය ඇතිකළ බවට චෝදනා එල්ලවී ඇතයි විදෙස් කටයුතු අමාත්ය අලිස්ටර් බර්ට් මහතා පවසා තිබේ. මෙම සිද්ධිය ගැන අවධානය යොමුකරමින් සිටින බවද හෙතෙම පවසා තිබේ.
සිද්ධියෙන් මියගිය හා අතුරුදහන්වූවන්ගේ ඥාතීන්ට තම කණගාටුව පලකරන බවද හෙතෙම පවසා තිබේ. සාමකාමී ලෙස විරෝධතා හා අරගල පැවැත්වීමේ අයිතිය රජය විසින් තහවුරු කළ යුතුයැයි හෙතෙම අවධාරණය කර තිබේ. සිද්ධිය සම්බන්ධයෙන් අපක්ෂපාතී විභාගයන් පැවැත්විය යුතු බව හෙතෙම පවසා තිබේ. මේ අතර වැලිවේරිය සිද්ධිය සම්බන්ධයෙන් ඇමෙරිකාවද මෑතකදී හෙලාදැක තිබීම විශේෂත්වයකි