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Weliweriya crackdown death toll rises to three Three more in critical condition One victim was to sit A/L today

2013 Aug 05

By Norman Palihawadana and Pradeep Prasanna Samarakoon

The death toll from the military crackdown on a protest at Weliweriya on Thursday rose to three yesterday with the demise of two more youth in hospital.

The police and the army opened fire on a demonstration residents of Weliwerya held against the contamination of ground water in the area due effluents from a rubber product factory.

Three other persons are in the Intensive Care Unit of the National Hospital and their condition is very critical, according to sources.

The two who died yesterday were identified as Ravishan Perera (18) and Nilantha Bandara (29). Ravishan was a student of St. Peter’s College, Udugampola, preparing for the GCE A/L examination scheduled to commence today (05).

Nilantha Bandara was a father of one employed in apparel factory in Biyagama.

Over 50 persons who received injuries in the military crackdown at Rathupaswala in Weliweriya are being treated at hospitals in Colombo, Ragama, Gampaha and Wathupitiwala.

Ravishan was among the onlookers. He received a gun shot injury to his head.

He was rushed to Gampaha Base Hospital and later transferred to National Hospital, Colombo.

Ravishan’s uncle, Edwin Perera, told The Island said his nephew had been watching TV when the protesters were marching past their house. Ravishan’s parents were not at home at the time and he had gone to see the protest. His mother arrived at home and contacted Ravishan over his mobile phone. Ravishan said that he was watching the protest march near the Princowatte and promised to return home in a while, but he never came back.

Another 17-year-old student of Chandrajothi Vidyalaya, Yakkala K. A. Akila Dinesh was killed in the shooting incident on Thursday.

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