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* Sri Lankan government to pay compensation to families of dead and injured during protest
Tue, Aug 6, 2013, 11:29 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Aug 06, Colombo: The Sri Lankan government expressing condolences to the families of the dead and wounded residents of the Weliweriya area in Gampaha district during a protest last week said the government will compensate the families for their losses.

Leader of the House Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva said in parliament today that the judiciary investigations are underway on the deaths and the clash during the protest staged by the residents demanding the government to provide them drinking water and close the factory that is allegedly responsible for the polluted ground water.

The clash between the security forces and the residents turned deadly when the army called to control the unruly crowd fired on them. The shooting resulted in three deaths including deaths of two students and injured scores, some critically.

Minister de Silva said the government discussed the issue of water contamination with relevant authorities and the factory, Hayleys Group company Dipped Products and the company agreed to suspend operations until the reason for the contamination of the water in the Rathupaswala area is probed.

However, the protests were renewed even after the discussions have reached a solution, the Minister said. The police had also acted to control the situation even from the beginning, the Minister added.

The Minister said a defence sector investigation will follow based on the findings of the judiciary investigations. He added that the alleged attacks on the journalists will also be investigated.

Revealing that the company has suspended 112 employees before the incident, the Minister said the police investigations will also focus on to determine whether some among the suspended employees instigated the clash.

The government, following a discussion held under the patronage of Minister and Gampaha District parliamentarian, has provided a temporary solution to the water problem now but necessary measures will be taken to provide pipe-borne water to the area as a long-term solution, the Minister said.

Minister de Silva thanked the opposition parties UNP and the JVP for participating in the discussion to reach a solution.

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