Price for Clean Drinking Water – Death

A second Sri Lankan protester died from wounds suffered when troops fired on villagers demonstrating against contaminated water supplies, police said as tensions remained high in the area.  Heavily armed police and Special Task Force commandos were still in the the village of Weliweriya following Thursday’s [Aug. 1, 2013] shooting and locals reported people were fearful of leaving their houses.  Criticism of the army’s use of force has mounted since the shootings.  The independent Lawyers Collective condemned the crackdown against the peaceful protest by villagers who were demanding clean drinking water for thousands of residents of Weliweriya.  One man died from the shooting while another man who was injured died overnight in hospital, police said, raising the death toll to two.  Dozens more protesters were wounded when police opened fire on hundreds of demonstrators. Local television footage showed troops with automatic weapons, some clad in body armour, firing into crowds.

Locals in Weliweriya, 20 kilometres (12 miles) northeast of Colombo, were protesting against runoff from a rubber glove-making plant that they say has polluted their groundwater supply…Dipped Products Ltd, a publicly quoted company that maintains the manufacturing plant, said Friday it was confident the water issue was unrelated to their operations but were cooperating with authorities “for an early settlement of the matter”.

Excerpt, Second protester dies in Sri Lanka water dispute, Agence France Presse, Aug. 4, 2013

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