Church accuses Sri Lanka army of killing protesters

Church leaders in Sri Lanka accused the country’s military of shooting unarmed protesters and desecrating a church during demonstrations against water contamination.

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, archbishop of Colombo, condemned “unhesitatingly” the military shooting that killed three people and wounded more than 50 others last week.

“We wish to condemn unhesitatingly the attack that was carried out by some elements of the [armed] forces on people,” the archbishop said.

“Such actions cannot be accepted by anyone… We do not accept using one’s power in a repressive manner to suppress protests, even if they get out of hand.”

The military opened fire on Thursday on thousands of unarmed residents who were protesting against the contamination of their ground water supply, allegedly by chemical waste from a rubber glove factory.

Government ministers said the military was acting in self-defence because protesters threw petrol bombs and shot at them at the instigation of a third party bent on discrediting the government.

On Wednesday, priests and nuns joined hundreds of faithful in staging a candle-light vigil in the capital to protest against the military action.


Al Jazeera


AP/The New York Times

Image: AFP/Al Jazeera

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