Factory workers trapped inside

Employees of the gloves factory at Weliweriya were prevented from leaving the premises since last evening, one employee said.

Villagers who had protested outside the factory yesterday refused to allow some 250 employees to leave.

The employee said that glass bottles had been thrown towards the factory staff when they had attempted to leave the premises.

Fresh tensions had been reported from Rathupaswala, Weliweriya yesterday after a group of villagers led by the venerable Theripaha Siridhamma Thero launched a protest against the gloves factory which was at the center of controversy early this month.

The venerable Theripaha Siridhamma Thero said that he had launched a fast from yesterday against the factory continuing to operate in the area.

He accused the factory of operating illegally and deceiving assurances given to the public following the clashes which occurred almost a month ago during a protest for clean water.

The monk said that he will stage a fast unto death until the factory is shifted from its current location.

A protest over contaminated water in Gampaha turned violent on August 1 when the army was deployed to disperse the crowd blocking the Colombo – Kandy main road. (Colombo Gazette)

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