Protesters Clash in Sri Lankan Capital

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Violence erupted in Colombo on Wednesday when pro and anti-government groups clashed on the streets. Six people were injured and sent to a hospital.

[Guneratna Wanige, Secretary, National Lawyers Association]: (Sinhala, gender unknown)
"We came here to file a case. That is why all these people have come here. These people were attacked by thugs in front of the police with the help of the police. We ask the cameramen to film them armed with sticks. Is this the democracy of this country? There’re thugs who come to the center of justice and attack people."

About 200 pro-government supporters blocked a major protest organized by pro-opposition demonstrators.

The police stepped in to control the crowd and fired tear gas at both groups.

The clash could be a reaction to last month’s election outcome, with Mahinda Rajapaksa as the new leader. Rajapaksa beat former army commander General Sarath Fonseka by a landslide.

After losing the presidential election, Fonseka accused his opponent of vote-rigging, vowing to challenge the results in court.

But troops arrested Fonseka on Monday, and the government said he would be court marshaled on charges of conspiring against the president.

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