Army probes Weliweriya incident

The army has launched an investigation into the clashes at Weliweriya amidst allegations soldiers mishandled the situation.
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.
Meanwhile army spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasuriya said that most soldiers placed at Weliweriya have been withdrawn and only a few still remain there.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 army spokesman however noted that the soldiers never directly attacked the protesters and only defended themselves against a group who had attacked the police and army using petrol bombs.
Weliweriya was tense last night with soldiers patrolling the area after violence broke out last evening leaving one person dead and at least 23 injured.
Television footage showed soldiers firing in the air and at times directing their guns at the protesters who pelted stones and other objects at the troops during the violence earlier in the evening. (Colombo Gazette)


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