The Real Truth About The Weliveriya Incidents Points Not To Army Excesses But A Distortion Of Facts Conveniently Concocted By Enemies Of The State.
Posted on August 15th, 2013

Insight By Sunil Kumar

August 15th 2013
Perhaps the time is right to set the record straight after so much anguish, wanton loss of life and so many accusations against the Government and the Armed Forces  that the core issue is as follows.  Researchers have found that it had simply to do with  a supply of drinking water contaminated by toxins seeping into the ground water  that supplied it from a large manufacturing concern in the vicinity and the only liabilities resting on the Administration had to do with not responding post haste to correct the problem.

What followed subsequently was mayhem instigated mostly by enemies of the state and all the  Anti- Government predatorial sources within Sri Lanka waiting for just such an opportunity to unleash a campaign of hate mongering and innuendo which fomented a small uprising of villagers who chose to go on a rampage against authority where the Army had to step in to restore law and order as events started to augment and there was an air of mounting civil unrest which had to be quelled.

While there are sufficient maleficient sources within present day Sri Lanka including a few incumbent foreign missions and NGO’s hell bent of bringing disrepute to the GOSL they probably never had a better opportunity than this  to heave speculative mistrust on an Administration that would realistically be impotent had it deliberately orchetrated the means ~ the only means according to many who evaluated the situation rationally and impartially as it was authority that was set upon and authority that was restored albeit at times with draconian means where water cannons and tear gas alone may have sufficed.Who ever gave the directive to fire live bullets into an unruly crowd may have had his imagination fired by all the civil unrest transpiring around the globe today but that was totally wrong and needs investigation but the world should rest assured that it was not an Administrative directive as some would like to paint and here the issue gets to be somewhat complicated.

What followed obviously to quote Defence Ministry Sources appropriately is that ”  It has become a habit to politicize selective events, but ignore core issue. Before everyone is conveniently taken off track by politicized versions what needs to be reiterated is that the key issue was water. The people took to the streets because of water. Why are fingers not pointed the authorities ?” ~ authorities in the proper context could well mean the authorities responsible for the management of water in the area as well as the authorities responsible for dumping contaminated manufacturing effluent in a dangerous and irresponsible  manner to infiltrate the drinking supply of a fair sized town and here the issue rests!

In this respect the Defence Ministry has also cited further that ” for this issue regarding water- why has the water been shoved into the background? From the commentaries that abound, the shift is focused towards portraying the impression that the Sri Lankan military purposely went armed to fire upon “unarmed” civilians, drawing parallels with the war efforts during May 2009. If we are to accept this stretch of imagination would the army “intentionally” kill only three? Using that very stretch of imagination would the OIC Weliweriya and eight soldiers also have injured themselves when the protesters were very much unarmed and peaceful? Moreover, how could the Defense Ministry, which is accused of giving orders to shoot at unarmed civilians, have given such an order when Defense Secretary himself was convening a meeting at the Defense Ministry with all the stakeholders on 1 August 2013 from 3p.m to 6:30p.m? Let us look at some of the questions that need to be answered before drawing up biased conclusions.” which bear rank testimony to the reality that a grave error of omission  has transpired  and there are many relate issues that now need solving despite the tragic loss of life and personal injury notwithstanding the most important issue of poisoned drinking water .

The following excerpt from the Defence Ministry Report  points to the salient reality that there was much more than what  met the common eye behind the scenarios that transpired in Weliweriya on this fateful day and it helps to put in proper perspectiven the realities of it all. It is also an implicit evaluation of circumstantial evidence impartially made towards assuring a Nation in unrest that every effort needs to be taken towards resolution which the Administration should now make a foremost priority of if it already has not been initiated.

Defence Ministry Report

Causes of water pollution?

Top on this list is a simple question. How many readers are aware that the factory in question has been in operation at the same venue for 18 years? How many complaints have been made against the factory? They have been lodged with the public authorities or the police, but did they take action? Why did the factory itself not attempt to do its own investigation to prove its innocence? If so where are findings? After 18 years the protesters had taken to the streets to demonstrate against the factory for polluting the water. And more importantly is it the factory whose waste is polluting the drinking water or is there some other reason? The universities of Moratuwa, Peradeniya and Kelaniya, the Water and Drainage Board, the Geology and Mines Bureau, Engineering Dept, Central Environmental Authority have all been tasked to find out the cause for water pollution.

Attempts to burn factory

We now focus on the behavior of the protesting villagers. The defamatory statements that abound across electronic and print media over the entire issue have conveniently left out a very important news item. Why was it not reported that on July 26, the day prior to the initial road protests, some people had attempted to burn the factory? The Weliweriya police had requested Chief of Defense Staff (CDS) to provide adequate security by the army applying provisions of the special gazette notification 1722/17 of 2011/09/06 which gives approval for the security forces to be used to maintain peace. Now this clearly explains why the army was present at the scene well before the protests commenced. It also conveys that the army had in no way prevented democratic demonstrations. The representatives of the villagers had attended a meeting organized by the Gampaha District secretary on July 30. They were not satisfied with the outcome which eventually led to the meeting of both parties at the Defense Ministry on August 1. All parties amicably deciding that the factory would temporarily close until the reports on the water contamination was received and drinking water would be provided by bowsers.

Dispersing crowds

The golden question is if the villagers of Rathupaswela after hearing of the arrangements made on August 1 decided to disperse and return home why did the protesters of the other villagers not do the same? Rathupaswela village was the most affected by the water pollution while Weliweriya town was not. Who were spurring these villagers to turn violent and who were the groups drawing the crowds from behind and were these really villagers? What objective would any protesters aspire to achieve by taking their protests to other areas? How or who galvanized 5000 protesters after 18 years of silence? What is also left out by media is the fact that 100 employees were sacked over a trade union dispute not long before the water controversy and it is alleged that they were also involved in spurring the villagers against the factory. There is a possibility of army deserters also being involved.

Protesters unarmed?

How can we justify the description that the protesters were “unarmed”? Former ambassadors and foreign funded local entities now pointing fingers should answer the question whether any person exercising the fundamental and democratic right to demonstrate is entitled to carry any type of item that may harm others? If the army has to explain why they carried AK-47s, the protesters need to explain how they came into possession of glass bottles containing petrol or sand. We can safely say that the protesters were not “peaceful” they were not “unarmed”. Why is the impression being given that the law enforcement authorities did not use water cannons, tear gas and even rubber bullets – all these methods of crowd controlling were used but they didn’t get the attention of the media!

Can people speculate further and wonder what would have happened if the police and army had not been present? Would these “unarmed, peaceful protesters” have taken over the petrol shed and started going on the rampage destroying property? Attempt to grab soldiers’ weapons?

Why would these “unarmed” protesters attempt to forcefully grab the guns of the soldiers and what if they did in fact cease a few guns? What would have been the outcome if guns had fallen into the hands of those “unarmed” protesters who did not know how to shoot, but tried to shoot? Moreover, the army is alleging that they had seen gun shots being fired from within the crowd. This immediately raises questions of whether army deserters were also involved. We shall know in the future what type of protesters actually ended up mingling with the real villagers in what probably seems an attempt to hijack the situation and turn it into a ‘Sri Lankan Spring’.

Do we remember two other incidents in the past (Katunayake in 2011 and Negombo in 2012) where protesters had provoked police into taking action against them which left several dead. We can conclude that situations have been hijacked by vested groups that have turned the situation into a crisis – 1971, 1983, 1989 are best examples. Luckily, the mother of the 17-year-old youth was wise enough to ask the media not to make a spectacle of her son’s death and incite more violence. The people pointing fingers appear to make the Sri Lankan public feel that it is only in Sri Lanka that democratic demonstrations cannot happen. They also wish to show that it is only in Sri Lanka that the rule of law does not prevail. Take a good look at how the Arab Spring evolved which has now led to total anarchy in these countries.

In 2011, the England riots took place. The UK police had shot an unarmed black man which led to protests. These incidents led to looting and burning. It was referred to as the “English spring”. The US had its share of the “Occupy Wall Street” protests and the latest was following the murder of Trayvon Martin. Protests, riots are certainly looking to be the new international spring movement gathering momentum.

No life can be valued in terms of money. There is no better country than Sri Lanka to know this fact with scores of civilians having being made pawns for three decades by previous Governments who had used terrorism for political benefits. The attempts to tarnish the image of the army are obvious. People who never had anything nice to say about the armed forces when they sacrificed 27,000 of their lives to save Tamil civilians (the Mavil Aru crisis is also remembered here) will naturally aim to pin point the blame on the law enforcement of the country. There was never any intention to kill civilians.

Nevertheless, it is obvious that Weliweriya will be used by those who want a regime change, giving no value to the truth. The people should not fall for fabrications formulated by sources engaged in attempting to split the nation. What needs to be reiterated is that NO ONE died inside the Church, NO ONE was shot inside the Church. Three youth died, but the third youth from Gampola did not die of gunshot injuries. The army went towards the Church to disperse the crowd that had been pelting stones from behind the church. It was the army who had evacuated the injured who were armed due to pelting of stones. The injured were taken in the army ambulance to the Gampaha hospital. Even the youth who died, from injuries caused by the use of blunt objects, was taken in the ambulance. The most ridiculous allegation is that the Defense Ministry ordered the shooting when the Defense Secretary was with the stakeholders of the area discussing with them how best to arrive at an amicable solution. The situation turned violent from 5p.m. onwards. Would those at the meeting not have been witness to such an order to shoot if such a thing had taken place as alleged? The lies spread by even learned people should stop.

What needs to be done as priority is to first solve the drinking water issue, next we need to ascertain who were the culprits involved in hijacking the protests demanding water and of course how the three youth met with death.

6 Responses to “The Real Truth About The Weliveriya Incidents Points Not To Army Excesses But A Distortion Of Facts Conveniently Concocted By Enemies Of The State.”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    “What needs to be done as priority is to first solve the drinking water issue, next we need to ascertain who were the culprits involved in hijacking the protests demanding water and of course how the three youth met with death.”

    Agree.

    AND also ascertain who were the culprits involved in

    1. shooting civilians to death
    2. smashing cameras
    3. firing at a church
    4. shouting filth at clergy

    Otherwise it will NOT be complete.

    Govt. WILL investigate the conduct of the army once the hype dies down.

    MoD did NOT order the shooting. GR did NOT order the shooting. It is BS to blame them by NGOs and UriNePee. But that makes it even more intriguing!

  2. mario_perera Says:

    Sorry, cannot agree with you, Sunil.

    You are trying to white wash a black wall.

    Mario Perera
    Kadawata

  3. Fran Diaz Says:

    Good analysis, Sunil. Thank you.

    The Questions we have are :

    (1) WHO brought in around 5,000 rioters from outside in the DUSK/DARK of night, AFTER an agreement was reached between Govt. representatives and the aggrieved parties. Who are these rioters threw petrol bombs and sand filled bottles at the police & armed forces ?
    The IGP rang and asked for help from the Army. Obviously the Police could not control the extra influx of some 5,000 rioters who came in later. The army has stated that there was gun fire from that crowd of rioters too.

    * Do the Readers honestly think that fire bombs and sand filled bottles, with probable gun fire (with stones added on) can be controlled with tear gas & rubber bullets only ? !!

    * Do the Readers think that such EXTREME actions were necessary by the extra 5,000 or so rioters who arrived on the scene AFTER an agreement was reached between the Govt. reps. and the aggrieved parties ?

    We wonder what would have happened if the same EXTREME & UNNECESSARY action by rioters took place in London, Paris or New York ??!!

    In Sri Lanka, are the police & armed forces sacrificial goats for bloodthirsty Separatists ?

  4. Fran Diaz Says:

    Also WHY did the demonstrations take place in Weliweriya when the actual wells are at RATHUPASWELA ?
    This whole affair seems well planned out.
    Just like the 1983 Riots ! – Same players too !

  5. Sunil Mahattaya Says:

    Must observe that this analysis has reached the mindset of the more perceptive whose interpretations are relative and reasonable towards the evidence posted but curiously one begs to differ as the exception.
    Whitewash, White Vans White Supremacy etc. are a glitter in the eyes of those who want to see them as their mindsets are more often than not blocked by black walls they themselves create in their incapacity to ratiionalise but take up the cry of the dissentors who in Sri Lanka today are often either Rebels without a cause, with a particular agenda or a cause with many predilections towards what is unacceptable as a norm towards rational interpretation.

  6. Lorenzo Says:

    Didn’t I say so?

    Army report on Weliweriya OUT.

    Look what the president did.

    “A new ministry titled ‘Ministry of Law and Order’ has been established under President Mahinda Rajapaksa, President’s Secretary Lalith Weeratunga said.

    Retired Major General Nanda Mallawaarachchi has been appointed as the Secretary to the new ministry.

    Mallawaarachchi is a former Chief of Staff of the Sri Lankan Army and the present Sri Lankan Ambassador to Indonesia.”

    IF the army DID the right thing in Weliweriya there is NO NEED to establish a NEW MINISTRY of law and order!!!

    IF the army DID the right thing in Weliweriya there is NO NEED to establish a NEW MINISTRY of law and order!!!

    The army was WRONG. That was why a new ministry of LAW AND ORDER was created DIRECTLY UNDER the president. And look who is heading it. The General who did the MAVIL ARU operation!!

    The BAD thing about this is GOTA LOSING power as his ministry of defence, LAW AND ORDER and urban development is now only ministry of defence and urban development.

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