Four army personnel acquitted over 2013 Rathupaswala shooting

(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) –  The four accused in the case over the shooting to death of three persons and injuring 45 others during a protest by villagers demanding clean drinking water at Rathupaswala in 2013, have been acquitted by the Gampaha High Court Trial-at-Bar.

Delivering the verdict in the case yesterday (17), the court ordered to acquit and release the four Sri Lanka army personnel including a Major General and three soldiers, Ada Derana reporter said.

On August 01, 2013, army personnel opened fire at unarmed villagers at Weliweriya, killing three and injuring several others, as they protested against a factory which they said polluted their groundwater and demanded clean drinking water.

In August 2019, then Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya appointed a Trial-at-Bar consisting High Court Judges Menaka Wijesundara (President), Nimal Ranaweera and Nishantha Hapuarachchi to hear the Rathupaswala case, after considering the Attorney General’s request.

On September 11, 2019, the Attorney General filed indictments before the Trial-at-Bar at the Gampaha High Court, against then-Brigadier Anura Deshapriya Gunawardena and 3 other military persons for allegedly ordering troops to open fire on protesters demanding clean water in Rathupaswala in 2013.

On April 30, 2024, the Gampaha High Court’s Trial-at-Bar deferred delivering the verdict in the case until yesterday (May 17).

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