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Sri Lankans protest killing of demonstrators by Indian police

Silent protest sends message to Indian government on safeguarding the rights of its people

Sri Lankans protest killing of demonstrators by Indian police

Anglican priest Father Marimuthu Sakthivel (center) with other priests show their solidarity for those affected by a deadly police crackdown on anti-pollution demonstrators in Tamil Nadu while protesting in front of the Indian High Commission in Colombo on May 30. (ucanews.com photo)

ucanews.com reporter, Colombo
Sri Lanka

May 31, 2018

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Sri Lankan activists demonstrated outside the Indian High Commission in Colombo on May 30 protesting the recent killing of 13 people by police in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

Outside the commission more than 50 protesters, including priests and environmentalists, participated in a silent demonstration that condemned police action against protesters on May 27 in the port town of Tuticorin, a Christian center.

Among those killed by the Indian police were at least four Catholics, according to media reports. One Catholic priest was also injured in the police's heavy-handed response to what was an anti-pollution protest against a multi-million-dollar copper-processing unit.

Outside the Indian commission, Anglican Father Marimuthu Sakthivel denounced what occurred.

"India is a democratic country and it should safeguard people's rights," said Father Sakthivel.

"Tamil Nadu people have a great relationship with Sri Lanka. We can't consider this an isolated problem. We urge the Indian government to give justice for the victims," said the priest.

"A clean environment is a human right." 

Rights activists outside the Indian High Commission in Colombo protest the recent killing of 13 anti-pollution demonstrators by police in Tamil Nadu. (ucanews.com photo)

 

Sajeewa Chamikara, an environmentalist for the Movement for National Land and Agricultural Reform, said what occurred in Tamil Nadu is not just an issue for India.

"Many Asian and developing countries face these type of situations," said Chamikara, who added that Sri Lanka has had similar cases.

"Farmers protested a water project in Rajanganaya reservoir and 50 of them were  arrested, beaten and some of them remain disabled," Chamikara said, referring to a 2013 incident that was one of several in that year alone.

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