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JVP blames the government for Katuwana Shooting
Published Date: 16/06/2012 (Saturday)

Two people, 17 year old Nimantha Heshantha and 50 year old Edirimannage Malani were killed and few others injured when an armed gang who had arrived on motorbikes had sprayed bullets at a JVP meeting in Katuwana at around 7 p.m. on Friday (15 June) evening. Injured were admitted to Embilipitiya Hospital. The attack also caused damage to several motorbikes, two Auto-rickshaws and a DIMO lorry, parked nearby.

JVP parliamentarian Anura Kumara Dissanayake said, about eight people arrived at the venue in four motorbikes and fired at the people with T-56 weapons. He said the people in the area had identified the suspects who were responsible for the attack and also claimed that they were now being protected by members of the government.

JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva said that underworld groups affiliated to the government continuously harassed people in the Beliatte, Walasmulla and Katuwana areas. He explained that a group of persons carrying weapons cannot travel about freely and spray bullets at a political meeting in the Medamulana area without the support of the government since there are many police and army personnel deployed to provide security to the area.

Silva also accused the government that it was maintaining a group of underworld elements after destroying all others who stood against them. He said the government cannot shrug away their responsibility and called on the government to find the killers and punish them.

Meanwhile, Silva denied the statement made by certain sections in the government that the shooting incident was a result of an internal clash in the JVP. He said the government was quick to make a statement about the persons responsible for the attack even before a police investigation had been conducted.

It was reported that eye witnesses at the scene had given statements to the police with names and details of the persons who had carried out the attack.  Police Spokesperson SP Ajith Rohana said that four police teams have been assigned to investigate the incident and that statements have been recorded from 28 eye witnesses as of yesterday. Police Special Task Force (STF) and Army personnel were also deployed yesterday to search the area.

SP Rohana, meanwhile admitted that a name of a notorious character in the area had been recorded by the police in eyewitness statements. However, he said that the person’s name cannot be positively mentioned since there were several others who had been involved in the shooting incident.

Following the killing on Friday, the JVP announced that it is planning to organize an island wide  protest campaign against what it calls the undemocratic and high-handed actions of the government. The first protest is to be held in Colombo.

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