US concerned over violence in Weliveriya

us state dept     The State Department in its statement issued in response to a media query at Thursday’s press briefing has said that it has communicated its concerns to the Sri Lankan government over the incident.

QUESTION: On Sri Lanka, do you have – have you seen news reports about the killing of three unarmed people because they were holding demonstrations, and – by the Sri Lankan army, and also desecration of a church in the city of Weliweriya?

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm, we have, and I do have something on that for you.

QUESTION: And how do you assess the human rights condition, again, the Sri Lankan army? It hasn’t improved, it looks like.

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm. One moment, Lalit. I know I have something on this for you in here. Well, Lalit, I know that I have something for you, so let us venture to get that to you right after the briefing, and I apologize for that.

QUESTION: I’m sorry. I missed the top. Did you have any announcements of any travel at all?

MS. PSAKI: I expect we’ll have something for you a little bit later today.

STATEMENT BY JEN PSAKI, SPOKESPERSON

Violent Incidents in Weliweriya, Sri Lanka

The United States is concerned by recent violent incidents, including shootings of unarmed protesters, in Weliweriya, Sri Lanka. We offer our condolences to the families of the deceased and injured, continue to urge all sides to exercise restraint, and urge the authorities to respect the right of peaceful protest.

We are particularly concerned by reports that protestors seeking refuge within a Catholic church were attacked there. There is never any excuse for violence, particularly in a house of worship.

We call for a thorough and transparent inquiry into all aspects of the Weliweriya violence, for those conclusions to be made public, and for there to be a credible mechanism to prosecute any wrongdoing.

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