30 May, 2024


Fight For Clean Water Turns Deadly: Army Fires On Weliweriya Demonstrators

Mass public demonstrations against a ground water contamination scandal in the Gampaha District took a deadly turn a short while ago after the military was deployed to disperse the protests and the resultant tension left at least one person dead and over 20 injured, according to police and hospital sources.

The victim was a 16 year old male, according to hospital reports. At least one more demonstrator was critically injured in clashes on the scene.

Protesters reacted angrily to the presence of the army resulting in severe tension that also caused injuries to several journalists reporting on the demonstration.

Police had earlier tried to disperse the demonstration using water canons and tear gas after the protests blocked the main Colombo-Kandy Road, but called for military reinforcements when attempts failed.

Security forces personnel had fired into the crowd in its efforts to disperse the protest, residents told reporters. Video footage has also emerged of the assault.

Journalists and camera crew were prevented from covering the clashes, with the military moving to destroy the memory cards of at least one photojournalist reporting in the area.

Ada Newspaper photojournalist Chanuka Kulasekera was admitted to the Gampaha hospital following the clashes. His camera has been damaged in the attacks.

By 9:40 p.m. Sri Lankan time, a power blackout took place in Weliweriya. The power is yet to be restored in the area.

Residents and reporters on site are calling it a mini-war and claim the security forces are combing the villages for instigators of the demonstration. Residents say they are still hearing gunfire in the area.

Ground water contamination in Weliweriya, Gampaha brought residents of some 10 villages in the area out onto the streets a few days ago led by a Chief Monk of a temple in the area. Residents in the area have implicated a glove making plant known as Dipped Products PLC a subsidiary of Hayleys Group

in the contamination crisis, although the company has stringently denied the claims. The residents are demanding the closure of the industrial plant and pure drinking water facilities from the authorities.

According to some reports, the military will be stationed in the area till 2 a.m. tomorrow. Residents speculate that the company is attempting to transport goods from the plant tonight and the military will supervise the operation.

Meanwhile the Chief Monk leading the protest Siridhamma Thero called off his fast unto death a short while ago following discussions with Hayleys representatives at the Defence Ministry. Hayleys officials also held discussions with Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa yesterday Colombo Telegraph reliably learns.


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    The Weliveriya incident is nothing more
    than an international conspiracy to bring
    discredit to our government. Otherwise why
    provoke our soldiers to retaliate?

    The recent price increases, trouble in
    universities, corruption etc are all being
    spread by conspirators.

    Those who criticize us without an atom of
    truth beware!! You can get caught to
    conspiracies or get constipated.

  • 0

    Another round of ‘Then they came for me’. Not the Tamils nor the Muslims this time, right in the heart of Sinahala-buddhist middle-class SLFP bastion!

    When the war mongering and religious fanaticism doesn’t work anymore, the crackdown comes in full force.

  • 0

    Investing 150 Million US Dollars in uganda when Weliweriya people are crying for clean water is a misnomer.

    Please read the following web.


    It is the Peoples money that should be invested upon them first when it comes to needs and wants.

    Building water purification plant in Uganda when it most needed in Sri Lanka is a question to be asked from Rajapakses.

    From where did the Rajapakses Got this 150 Million Dollars.

    Is it part of the borrowed money from World Bank, IMF, Govt. Reserves or any other source.

    Is this a Grant or a Loan to Uganda.

    Is it money are from Commission or some ones Black money coming from no where.

    Who authorized this project.

    Did parliament authorized this 150 Million Dollar Project.

    What is the interest payable on this fund, both Sri Lanka and Uganda.

    Who is responsible for this Project and collection of funds.

    What are the other foreign projects that aqre carried out by the government.

    We need answers from Both Government and the opposition.

    Also if CT or anybody else could answer us on the above questions will be appreciated.

    • 0

      This idiot doesn’t know that it is borrowed money from China that the US uses to wage war and set people against each other.

  • 0

    The unarmed innocent villagers asked for buckets of water
    and received a rain of bullets.

    There is an important lesson in this for the Sri Lanka Army.
    The glory they won in defeating Tiger terrorists gave them
    a distinguished image the world over. For four long years
    after the military victory, they rode the high wave of public
    confidence and popularity. In just one hour it was all lost
    in Weliweriya.

    For the officers and men, fighting a war and dealing with the
    media are two entirely different things. But every officer or
    soldier who has tried to deal with the media have functioned
    under the mistaken belief that they are experts in both. They
    can hold a gun but are not trained in any way about matters
    related to the media. Just delivering a press release can be
    done by any peon or three wheeler taxi driver.

    Take for example the Military Spokesman Brigadier Ruwan
    Wanigasooriya. He is a trained officer of the army. This is by
    any measure an insult. But he has not seen the inside of a
    newspaper office (meaning the news room) or the working of the
    print and electronic media. Nor is he an expert on the inernet
    except his familiarity with a computer keyboard.

    As a result all his utterances on the Weliweriya incident have
    added to the damage caused to the army. He has said different things
    to different media about a third party behind the incident. That
    third party, he claims, has attacked the army first. Let us pause
    for a moment and think. Is he already setting the background to
    what the army court of inquiry is going to say? Brigadier Wanigasuriya
    has already decided even before the army probe that a third party
    was behind.

    It would have been better to have issued a well prepared statement and
    stick to that. An example: An incident where soldiers reportedly opened
    fire at crowds who were blocking roads at Weliweriya has been reported.
    The Army is conducting a full inquiry and regrets the loss of life and
    injuries to people. It is also probing reports that media representatives have been attacked.

    This would have given them enough time to wait till the army court of inquiry is concluded.

    Instead Brig. Wanigasuriya has transcended the military boundary and
    become spokesman for the UPFA government. He has been making political
    statements and believes, for some reason or the other, that all Sri Lankans who read or hear what he says are dumb idiots.

    For day one, the new Army Commander Lt. Gen. Daya Ratnayaka took office, his much valued institution has begun to crumble. He was
    a spokesman before.

    If he is serious about giving his organisation a good image, he should
    make sure the army spokesman is trained on what to say what what not to say. Like the gun, the mouth can also be very lethal when it comes
    to a military spokesman.

    One can only hope even the Ministry of Defence, if it wants to ensure a clean, credible image to the army, makes sure the right thing is
    said by the military spokesman. Other issues can be left to politicians and leading officials.

  • 0

    I am the proudest buddhist on earth ,our Army must kill all the none buddhist if they ever ask for water, they deserve it.

  • 0

    BBS TERROR Monks intimidates Catholic priests


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    Bishop hits out at attackers
    August 6, 2013
    colombo gazette
    The Catholic Archbishop of Colombo Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith today condemned the attack carried out by “some elements of the forces” on people who had sought refuge at St. Anthony’s Church in Weliweriya during the clashes between the army and public in the area last week.

    He said that it was sacrilege for anyone to enter such sacred precincts with arms in their hands and to behave in a violent manner there.

    “Such actions cannot be accepted by anyone. It is always necessary that we preserve the sanctity of sacred premises of any religion and respect the people who enter such premises seeking protection.” he said.

    Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith called on the government to conduct an impartial and just inquiry into the incident where innocent people were killed.

    The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) had earlier said that a priest and a nun at the church were assaulted by troops during the violence in Weliweriya last week.

    The BASL said that a team of lawyers had visited Weliweriya and recorded statements from people in the area as well as doctors who had treated the injured.

    “The people still live in fear,” an executive member of the BASL had told the Colombo Gazette.

    The BASL will be recording more statements over the next few days and will then decide on the next course of action.

    Three people have died so far and many others sustained injuries during the “battle for water” at Weliweriya.

    The Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission has also launched an investigation into the incident. (Colombo Gazette)

  • 0

    Killing Fields Weliweriya attracts international disgust

    The New Terrorist Harbouring states -/ Burma ,Thailand & Sri Lanka) Trevada Terrorist States -01- Myanmar -02 Sri Lanka -03 Thailand..
    The worst inhuman terror Group to emerge ever after kampuchea Killing Fields! The Theravadists

    The Most ruthless terror Group of present day..

    Notorious to burn people a live , hack people with machetes, use clubs and kill unarmed poor undernourished the world’s worst persecuted people- declared by The United Nations, there is a rumour believed that The Burmese self claimed ruthless Theravadin terrorist Leader Wirathu is involved in spreading terror and also arming certain groups not just in Burma, Sri Lanka & Thailand too ,
    and also are planning to use Theravadin youths working in Muslim & Christian countries to cause sabotage and other forms of attacks , Saudi is suppose to be the main target ,the Holy Mosques,it is also learnt BBS has many informants and agents working under cover mainly as Three wheel drivers, and others and they are suppose to train new workers going to Middle east to work & engage in espionage work , the agents are also all over the Internet too. However no independent source of evidence has been established to such claims so far…

    Anyone who may know or suspect such persons of involvement trained By The BBS Theravadins Terrorists – may inform the Interpol france _ your Identity will be protected with guarantee, Please contact :
    Address: 200 Quai Charles de Gaulle, 69006 Lyon, France
    Phone:+33 4 72 44 70 00
    Monday Open 24 hours
    Tuesday Open 24 hours
    Wednesday Open 24 hours
    Thursday Open 24 hours
    Friday Open 24 hours
    Saturday Open 24 hours
    Sunday Open 24 hours

    Your kind cooperation will be highly valued.
    ‘Killing Fields Weliweriya attracts local and international disgust
    13 hours ago – Weliweriya 4 410px 02-08-13 Many local and international human rights and religious organizations have strongly condemned the Weliweriya …
    Sri Lanka Mirror – Going viral with new

  • 0

    Let US wake up and stop contamination of blessed Ground water before it is too late.

    People in every Province ,every electoral divisions in every remote village must have thier ground water & well water tested for contamination ,including those living in cities and suburbs must get thier drinking water tested, & NGOS like Lions clubs must come forward to help in this , with their International contacts they can request for thier Lions Clubs in countries like Denmark or Holland to come and do a test & help to train the people to remove such toxic and also ,offer to help water filters duty free on installment systems ..

    For those who can afford it,Jinasena has an excellent filter that can be fitted to your mainline just after the meter so you will have safe water all along..

    Please do take extra care with water for infants,,,

    Do not trust the water anywhere in Sri Lanka..am not trying to Politicize this issue ,am saying it with sincere concern – you can also get your water tested with CISR (Please do not rely on the water board testing although it is cheaper)

    Some of these Toxins Can cause severe Kidney diseases & some water if pumped from rivers & without superior purification plans , can carry a certain worm which can spread in your lungs and create complications and even effect your eyes and lead to total blindness, and also special care is needed with snails they too can cause severe health problems if contaminated with well water or inside water tanks,

    Chapter 8 – Freshwater snails pdf, 556kb – World Health Organization

    Research gives clean drinking water for millions of Vietnamese
    August 10, 2012 – 06:09
    Geological studies carried out by Danish researchers are giving hope to the millions of people in Southeast Asia who drink groundwater contaminated by arsenic – a highly poisonous substance.
    Keywords: Environment, Geology, Pollution
    By: Anne Ringgaard

    Vietnamese and Danish geologists have sunk test wells in the underground along Vietnam’s Red River for the past eight years. The geologists have now discovered why there is more arsenic in the groundwater at some locations than at others. (Photo: Flemming Larsen)
    Changes in their pigmentation and chapped skin are their first symptoms. Later, millions of people in Southeast Asia risk developing cardio-vascular diseases and cancer because their drinking water is polluted.

    This drinking water comes from underground sources that contain arsenic, which is extremely hazardous to the health.

    “In Vietnam alone there are at least three million people at risk,” says Dieke Postma, a senior researcher at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS). “But there is also a gigantic health problem in countries such as Bangladesh, India and Cambodia. A total of about one hundred million people live in the risk zones.”

    Together with Danish and Vietnamese colleagues, Postma has studied the groundwater reserves along the Red River in Vietnam for eight years.

    Arsenic poisoning or cholera
    “Arsenic occurs naturally in the groundwater in the plains around the great rivers that have their sources in the Himalayas,” says the GEUS researcher. “In the area of the Red River in Vietnam, for example, there is up to 80 times as much arsenic in the groundwater as the safety threshold recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).”

    WHO warns people not to drink water with more than 10 micrograms of arsenic per litre. People who drink water containing more of this health hazard have an increased risk of poisoning and of becoming seriously ill.

    Most recent underground layers are the most toxic
    In Vietnam alone there are at least three million people at risk. But there is also a gigantic health problem in countries such as Bangladesh, India and Cambodia. A total of about one hundred million people live in the risk zones.Dieke Postma
    The groundwater along Vietnam’s Red River is not equally poisonous everywhere.

    “We’ve discovered that there are very great differences between how much arsenic there is in the groundwater, depending on where we’ve drilled for samples,” says Postma. “The amount of arsenic can vary colossally over a stretch of just a few hundred metres.”

    He and the other geologists studied why the groundwater at some locations in the Red River’s delta is very toxic, while in other locations it’s almost pure. As a result, the geologists can now say where the Vietnamese authorities should drill to find the cleanest water.

    “Over the ages, the river has moved back and forth between courses through the plains,” he says. “In the meantime, sand and clay that the river has washed down from the Himalayas has settled as sedimentary layers at different times. By analysing the sand from the underground at various locations in the river plain, we have discovered that there is least arsenic in the oldest sand sedimentary layers.”

    The studies show that the groundwater from the newest underground layers is the most toxic, while in the oldest layers the water contains virtually no arsenic. The oldest sedimentary layers comprise sand and clay which was washed down from the Himalayas up to 6,000 years ago.

    Accordingly, the researcher says, the Vietnamese should drill in the oldest underground layers to find drinking water that contains the least arsenic.

    Lack of oxygen releases arsenic to groundwater
    Arsenic occurs naturally in the groundwater in the plains around the great rivers that have their sources in the Himalayas.Dieke Postma
    Arsenic is a chemical substance that binds to iron oxides. These iron oxides are found in the mud transported by the Red River from the Himalayas and deposited in the river plains.

    “As long as the sand and mud are transported by the river, they are in contact with the oxygen in the atmosphere, so the iron oxides are stable,” he says. “But when the sand and mud have been deposited in the underground and then covered by groundwater, they are no longer in contact with the oxygen in the atmosphere.”

    This lack of oxygen means the iron oxides are so unstable that the arsenic can unbind from them and the poisonous arsenic is released into the groundwater.

    Peasant farmers only have access to water containing arsenic
    Arsenic is released into the groundwater in the flood plain around Hanoi in such large quantities that all the water pumped up in the area is contaminated.

    Despite this, there are many million Vietnamese living in the rural areas along the Red River who drink the water.

    “When it rains, they collect rainwater, which they use as drinking water. But in the dry periods they only have access to the water that is pumped up from the underground. Often they don’t even know that the water is contaminated by arsenic, or they have no other choice.”

    Chronic poisoning
    We’ve discovered that there are very great differences between how much arsenic there is in the groundwater, depending on where we’ve drilled for samples. The amount of arsenic can vary colossally over a stretch of just a few hundred metres.Dieke Postma
    “The authorities started to drill after drinking water in the underground about 20 years ago to prevent people from getting ill from dysentery and cholera when they drank water taken directly from the rivers,” says the researcher.

    “But now people risk getting chronic arsenic poisoning because they drink contaminated groundwater.”

    The symptoms of chronic arsenic poisoning are first seen after ten years.

    “And now the first Vietnamese are starting to show these symptoms,” says Postma.

    To get an understanding of why arsenic is found the Red River’s delta, the researchers analysed the sand deposits in the underground. One parameter they measured was how quickly the arsenic is released from the iron oxides.

    These measurements showed that the speed at which the arsenic unbinds from the iron oxides is lower when it is in the oldest sand deposits – the sand that formed sedimentary layers in the underground a very long time ago.

    Over the ages, the river has moved back and forth between courses through the plains. In the meantime, sand and clay that the river has washed down from the Himalayas has settled as sedimentary layers at different times. By analysing the sand from the underground at various locations in the river plain, we have discovered that there is least arsenic in the oldest sand sedimentary layers.Dieke Postma
    The geologists also discovered that the iron oxides – and, thus, the arsenic – are washed out of the sand over time. Older underground layers therefore release less arsenic – and they release far less arsenic than newer deposits.

    Cleaner water
    Since the end of the 1990s, when the authorities first discovered that the Southeast Asian groundwater was full of arsenic, many scientists have studied the poison’s behaviour. But Postma and his colleagues are the first to study how the age of the underground is related to the occurrence of arsenic in the groundwater.

    “Over time, our results can surely be used to indicate places where sinking wells for water can find the least contaminated groundwater,” says Postma.

    “This is probably the path to take to ensure that many millions of people living in Southeast Asia can drink water with the lowest amount of arsenic. But there is a need for further studies, new wells and more money, so, unfortunately, this will not happen for the time being.”

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    Top 5 Ways To Clean Produce

    My mother is Mrs. Clean and she is worried about the parasites and other undesirable microorganisms in the raw foods that we eat. So to ease her mind, this post is for my Mama and for all you Mamas out there who want clean and non-toxic food for your family!

    Me: Yes, I do clean my veggies! My mother: How?

    The University of Maine conducted a study on cleaning produce with:

    1. distilled water and

    three kinds of commercial wash treatments

    2. Fit®

    3. Ozone Water Purifier XT-301 and

    4. J0-4 Multi-Functional Food Sterilizer).

    They found that distilled water cleaned just as well or better than commercial wash treatments.


    Cook’s Illustrated conducted a study on apples and pears cleaning them with:

    1. soap (not recommended at all because it leaves a residue)

    2. vinegar solution

    3. scrub brush and

    4. simply water.

    They found 2 solutions that cleaned better than just water: scrub brushing removed 85% of the bacteria and diluted vinegar removed 98% of the bacteria. The Department of Food Science and Technology, University of California, found that cleaning an apple by dipping in the vinegar solution and rubbing for 5 seconds reduced salmonella bacteria significantly.

    How To Clean With Vinegar

    1. SOAK PRODUCE for a few minutes up to 15 minutes in vinegar solution (1 part vinegar to 3 parts water) and rinse with water.

    2. SPRAY PRODUCE with same solution, leave for a few minutes and rinse with water.

    NOTE: Vinegar can be white or apple cider vinegar and can be substituted with lemon or lime juices. Some produce, like mushrooms, strawberries and peaches, cannot be soaked for long periods.


    Susan Sumner, a food scientist at Virginia at Polytechnic Institute and State University, in Blacksburg, discovered an easy yet effective method of cleaning produce by spraying them first with vinegar, then with hydrogen peroxide, or vice versa. She told Science News Online, “If the acetic acid [vinegar] got rid of 100 organisms, the hydrogen peroxide would get rid of 10,000, and the two together would get rid of 100,000.” Apparently, this method was found to be more effective than chlorine and other commercial products.

    How To Clean With Vinegar and Hydrogen Peroxide

    1. Fill a clean bottle with full strength vinegar (white or apple cider).

    2. Fill another clean bottle with full strength 3% hydrogen peroxide, which you can get at any grocery or drug store.

    3. Spray produce with one, then the other. It doesn’t really matter which you spray with first.

    4. Rinse with water.


    If you don’t have distilled water, a scrub brush, vinegar or hydrogen peroxide? Soak produce in a saline solution (1 tsp salt to 1 cup water or 1/2 cup salt to a basin full of water) for a few minutes up to 15 minutes and rinse.

    For more information on DIY cleaning visit http://www.healthychild.org

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