Jan 07, Hambanthota: Violent clashes erupted between the people protesting the launch of Southern Development Project and the government supporters Saturday in Mirijjawila in Hambanthota injured 23 people including 11 law enforcement personnel.
The Police used tear gas and water cannons to break up the protesters as they threw rocks at the police and government supporters.
The demonstration was held despite a restraining order issued by the Hambantota Magistrate’s court yesterday banning protests and demonstrations in the area for 14 days.
Protesters have stoned the 1990 emergency ambulances carrying the injured to the hospitals damaging two ambulances, the Deputy Minister Harsha de Silva said.
The Police have arrested two people for unruly behavior and are conducting further investigations into the clashes.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe today launched the mega development project to open an investment zone to develop the Hambantota Port and the surrounding area.
However, the villagers and the joint opposition oppose the government's initiative claiming that the government is selling the port and the land to the Chinese investors.