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Ranatunga’s MSD men in bloody CPC shooting

One person was killed and two others injured as the security detail, belonging to Petroleum Minister Arjuna Ranatunga, opened fire on a group of protesters inside the complex of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) at Dematagoda yesterday afternoon.

The incident took place following a heated stand-off between the Minister’s security detail and a group of workers described as trade union activists, Police Spokesman, Superintendent (SP) Ruwan Gunasekera said. He added one belonging to the Ministerial Security Division (MSD) was subsequently arrested while the injured persons were receiving treatment at the National Hospital in Colombo.

He said the MSD men were arrested for allegedly using excessive force in crowd control methods.

Meanwhile, trade union sources said that a brief fire fight had broken out between the MSD men and armed CPC guards following a heated argument.

Police reinforcements were later rushed to the scene to bring the situation under control.

According to sources the bulk of the trade union activists at the CPC belong to the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) with a lesser presence of those from other political groups.

They added that the furore broke out after the crowd had questioned the presence of the former Minister since the Cabinet no longer existed following the sacking of Ranil Wickremesinghe’s Government on Friday.

The sources further added that the protesters also threatened to disrupt the oil supplies if the authorities fail to arrests former Minister Ranatunga.

Ranatunga said that he had entered the complex to remove some personal files when he was confronted with the unruly mob that eventually led to the violence.

The incident is also the first major violence reported from the country since the constitutional crisis erupted on Friday last week following the ouster of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Meanwhile, according to Police, apart from some isolated incidents of intimidation and provocations the country has been incident free since the latest crisis engulfed the country.

(Ceylon Today )

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