US condemns violence in Welweriya
“The United States has expressed concern over the fatal shooting of three civilians by the Sri Lankan military, which attacked people seeking protection in a church during a recent protest to demand clean drinking water,” Associated Press reported on Saturday, citing from a State Department spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, who said that “there was no excuse for violence, especially in a house of worship.” Ms. Psaki has also called for “a thorough and transparent inquiry” into the violence at Welweriya. While taking into consideration the US consternation over the Sri Lankan military’s brutality, activists in the island urge that if America is genuinely concerned about the highhanded behaviour of the Sri Lankan military, then Pentagon should suspend all military-to-military relationship with a state accused of genocide.
“We call for a thorough and transparent inquiry into all aspects of the Weliweriya violence, for those conclusions to be made public and for there to be a credible mechanism to prosecute any wrongdoing,” the Associated Press quoted Ms. Psaki.
Separately, in a release on Friday, Human Rights Watch called on the Sri Lankan government to investigate the deaths that occurred owing to the violence at Welweriya.
“It’s undisputed that security forces killed three protesters, but the Sri Lankan government’s kneejerk reaction is to deny possible wrongdoing,” said Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director of HRW.
“Instead of promoting the military’s version of events, the government should order an independent investigation and prosecute anyone who violated the law,” she added.