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Rathupaswela residents blast WP CM, govt.

2013 Oct 28

By Shamindra Ferdinando

Angry residents of Rathupaswela, Weliweriya shouted at Western Province Chief Minister Dhammika Ranatunga when the latter visited Rathupaswela on Saturday (26) to inquire about the difficulties experienced by them due to the absence of a regular supply of water.

They alleged that the government, in spite of repeated promises, was yet to remove the glove factory, responsible for contaminating water in the area. They alleged that treated effluents from the Hayley’s Group run Dipped Products PLC caused low Ph in water wells in the area.

Some people jeered at the minister when he told them to inform the police of difficulties faced by them.

The minister was told that there was no alternative to relocating the latex glove manufacturing plant. Addressing the crowd, in the presence of the minister, several speakers said that protests would continue until tangible action was taken to relocate the factory.

Army headquarters recently initiated disciplinary action against four officers who had been in command of troops, who opened fire on people demanding water, killing three persons.

Residents complained to CM Ranatunga that they were suffering due to the failure on the part of the government to solve their water problem. They claimed that influential people were trying to suppress those pushing for the shifting of the factory.

Amidst jeering, the CM, escorted by police, left the scene with people condemning politicians representing the area for turning a blind eye to what was going on. 

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