The government says investigations into the Weliweriya incident are also looking into reports that someone among the protestors had fired shots towards the security forces.
Government Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva told parliament today that the protesters had also set fire to a three-wheeler and damaged public property.
He however assured that an independent investigation will be carried out into the clashes and the perpetrators will be brought to book.
The Minister denied reports that soldiers had attacked people who had sought shelter inside a church in the area during the violence.
He said that claims that journalists were attacked during the violence will also be investigated.
The Minister said that during the protest, when one group moved away after they were assured of a solution to their concerns, another group stayed back and threw petrol bombs and other objects towards the army.
The ‘battle for water’ broke out after days of small protests led to a massive demonstration last week with the people blocking the main Kandy – Colombo road. Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said that the security forces eventually had to take measures in self defence.
He also said that investigations will look into reports that 112 axed employees of the Hayleys company were involved in the clashes.
The people in Weliweriya claim a gloves factory operating under Hayleys was putting out chemicals which had contaminated the water in the area. (Colombo Gazette)