Thursday, February 16, 2012

Tear gas fired at JVP protest in Colombo

Police fired teargas at a march organized by the JVP at Maradana in Colombo this afternoon (Feb. 15) against the fuel price increase and against the death of a fisherman in Chilaw due to shooting at a similar agitation earlier in the day.

The protestors, while on their way from P.D. Sirisena Stadium at Maligawatte to Colombo Fort, were repeatedly ordered by police to turn back.

However, they had disregarded the orders and brought down the barriers to move forward, when police fired teargas and water mixed with ammonia.

Police also baton-charged, as some people hurled stones at them from the direction of the Maligawatte flats.

JVP parliamentarian Sunil Handunneththi is reported to have suffered minor injuries during the skirmish at the demonstration held in Maligawatta today, MP Vijitha Herath said.

"A tear gas bullet hit his head during the police assault on us. This is a government that is frightened of the people and they use the police to suppress the voice of the people. First they murdered Roshen Chanaka, then today they murdered a fishermen in Chilaw after yesterdays protests, today they didn't let us protest peacefully, they are doing this because they are afraid of the people," he said.

The MP further went on to point out that the JVP condemns the murder of the fisherman and the attack on today's protest. "We condemn in the strongest possible terms the murder of an innocent fisherman and the police brutality used by the state on us," he said.

In the face of the police charge, the demonstrators changed their route of progress and went on with their protest.

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