The Sri Lankan government should stop issuing misleading information and promptly create an independent and transparent inquiry into the deaths of protesters at Weliweriya on August 1, 2013, Human Rights Watch said.
At least three people were killed and several injured after security forces fired live ammunition at protesters who were demanding access to clean drinking water.
According to news reports, soldiers fired on local residents and Buddhist monks who were demonstrating for clean water on the Colombo-Kandy Road in Weliweriya, Gampaha district, about 25 kilometers from Colombo.
The government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa claims that the soldiers reacted in self-defense against protesters who hurled rocks and petrol bombs and shot at them. The unclear circumstances leading to the deaths and injuries, as well as government statements exonerating the solders involved, highlight the need for an independent inquiry.
Human Rights Watch called on the government to ensure that security forces responding to protests abide by the United Nations Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials.
The principles provide that security forces, including military personnel, shall “apply non-violent means before resorting to the use of force and firearms,” and that “whenever the lawful use of force and firearms is unavoidable,” law enforcement officials use force in proportion to the seriousness of the offense and the legitimate objective to be achieved, and minimize damage and injury.
The intentional lethal use of firearms is only permitted when “strictly unavoidable in order to protect life.”
“The authorities’ decision to send soldiers armed with assault rifles to secure a demonstration is deeply worrisome,” Ganguly said. “The government needs to rethink its whole approach to ensure that people can peacefully and safely protest.”(HRW)
The chinese love this kind of regimes, bcause their own criminal human rights record gets justified.
Perumal Sunday, 11 August 2013 07:02 AM
Oh, yes, So impartial that all the reports are said to have reached the top and no one knows what happened thereafter. When will the Rajapakse manace end?
saradiyal Saturday, 10 August 2013 06:42 AM
Yeah yeah, you will get one now, you know what happened to people asked for clean water?
Narayan Saturday, 10 August 2013 06:49 AM
Western conspiracies. We do not need your intervention on this. This is a local matter which our government will handle.
Lalindra Saturday, 10 August 2013 06:56 AM
Investigations by the GOSL has always been impartial. There will be no difference in this either.
duppi nana Saturday, 10 August 2013 07:00 AM
Basil has asked for a pardon from the public after a week and things will be all right soon.Dead will be re born and the factory will operate as it was very soon.Lankaawai siri Lankaawai.Jayashri.How for we can expect the investors to dump the money in to this economy.
Jagath Leanage Saturday, 10 August 2013 07:16 AM
We believe at least they will do a proper job.
Porky Pig Saturday, 10 August 2013 07:24 AM
Well done HRW. Please keep the pressure on. Thousands of live have been lost during the final stages of the war and this shows how they were killed. Bring the ring leaders to justice before it is too late.
Bavana John Saturday, 10 August 2013 07:28 AM
There should be an independent inquiry for this case and law should be implemented.
Mm Saturday, 10 August 2013 08:19 AM
can imagine how the army would have treated the people in the north!!!!
saradiyal Saturday, 10 August 2013 08:19 AM
There are protests on a daily basis in Nothern Ireland and it is the police who get injured not the protesters. Because they believe police is there for the public safety, not to protect political thugs and goons from innocent protesters .
Poor Man Saturday, 10 August 2013 04:37 PM
Impartial, you must be joking. When did we have an impartial investigation. Not in my life time.
nishantha Saturday, 10 August 2013 04:38 PM
HRW you don't have power in Sri Lanka to ask this. Don't wast your valuable time and concentrate on other countries.
johan Saturday, 10 August 2013 08:43 AM
hope this incident should fetch the eyes of Human Rights team when they visit Sri Lanka end of this month
ban Saturday, 10 August 2013 09:10 AM
pl pl do somthing to protect our people
ravi Saturday, 10 August 2013 09:14 AM
HRW please do not interfere in this matter Now only south people feeling the taste of 2009 celebration when people were killed in north and east lets them enjoy the same.
selva Saturday, 10 August 2013 09:34 AM
Please HRW, leave them alone, because they are in fever of Arabs Spring!!
Aruna Sara Sunday, 11 August 2013 05:19 AM
Good Move. National Human right commissions is a government sponsored institute led by Prathiba Mahanamahewa. He never do impartial inquiry.
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