UCAN needs your support
You are why we do what we do - report, describe, comment, review. It is to bring to your eyes just what life is like for believers across Asia that we publish UCAN.
But as you know, the effort needs to be sustained if it is to have continuing effect.
UCAN publishes some 150 stories a week in four languages across six websites. We are grateful to benefactors in Europe and the US who support us. But those countries and the Church there are under increasing financial strain and their generosity no longer covers our costs.
We need financial help from our readers to sustain our efforts. Our reporters, editors, video producers and photographers all have families and we need to support them. They do excellent jobs, but they can't do their jobs for nothing.
Will you help us to sustain UCAN? Please click here to help.
Thanks in anticipation.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
Protesters killed in Sri Lanka army crackdown
Three involved in clean water protest confirmed dead
Protesters hold a placard of Akila Dinesh, the 17-year-old killed last week
- ucanews.com reporter, Colombo
- Sri Lanka
- August 5, 2013
Two people died yesterday after allegedly being shot last week by Sri Lankan soldiers during a crackdown on protesters demanding clean water.
It brings to three the number killed during the crackdown on Thursday last week near Colombo.
The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL), the national human rights watchdog, has begun an investigation into the incident.
A funeral was held yesterday for Akila Dinesh, a 17-year-old student who was the first to be confirmed dead. The ceremony took place amid tight security in Weliweriya, near the capital.
Sri Lankan troops are believed to have entered a church in the village and forced people to kneel down before assaulting them, according to a local resident who asked to remain anonymous.
“I strongly condemned the army entering the church and attacking unarmed civilians who protested for water,” said Father Lakpriya Nonis, parish priest of St. Anthony’s Church in Weliweriya, addressing the gathering at the funeral yesterday.
“No one has the right to take the life of another, it’s a disgrace to humanity,” he continued.
The two confirmed dead yesterday were an 18-year-old student, Ravishan Perera, and a 29-year-old newly married garment factory worker.
“The army scolded and intimidated a priest and later threatened the nuns,” said the local resident.
The US embassy in Colombo condemned the attack on protesters and urged the government to respect the rights of the people to engage in peaceful protests.
Army media spokesman, Ruwan Wanigasooriya, however denied any attack on civilians had taken place.
"There is no army presence in the area now. We have started investigations on this attack," Wanigasooriya said.