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Sri Lanka: Environmental protester remanded of fack charges; Fear grips Dorape

DSI piket 410px 19-10-13
24 died of cancer in our village
Fear has gripped residents of Dorape after a man who protested against the poisonous gas emissions from the SRRI rubber factory attached to DSI group, has been arrested by the counter terrorism unit of the Sri Lankan Police last morning (18), the BBC Sandeshaya reports.

Regional correspondent Rathnasiri Nallaperuma has told the BBC Sandeshaya that the man – Kanaththa Gamage Norbert Silva was arrested by police who stormed his home at around 2am.
Police has also seized hand grenades and ammunition, it adds.
Noting that he has not heard of Dorape residents using bombs or other weapons before, the correspondent has said that residents have been receiving anonymous telephone calls for a few weeks since joining the protest demonstrations against the pollution from the SRRI factory.
“The People are only requesting for their right to live. The right to breathe and the right to clean water supply. This was initially triggered by the Chairmen of the Akmeemana and Imaduwa Pradeshiya Sabhas, he has told BBC Sandeshaya.
It is reported that 26 residents in Welikonda have died from cancer within two years.
Noting that Mr. Silva’s family members are astonished as to how weapons were were in the house, the correspondent has further said area residents suspect that the weapons were planted by factory officials using a third person.
Speaking, Mr. Silva’s lawyer Buddhi Jayawardena has told BBC Sandeshaya that his client was produced before Galle Magistrate courts and was ordered to be held in remand custody until Oct. 30.
Speaking to BBC Sandeshaya, police spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana has confirmed that the seized weapons were not discovered within the house but in the land premises.
He has further said that they are investigating to ascertain whether they were planted deliberately by some other party and action would be taken if it was proven to be so.
However, the arrest had no connection with the protest demonstration against the factory, the police spokesman had further said.


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