"We are concerned by recent violent incidents including shootings in Weliweriya, Sri Lanka. We are particularly concerned by reports that protesters people seeking refuge in a Catholic church were attacked there, there is never any excuse for violence attack particularly in a house of worship," State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki said.

The United States offers it condolences to the family of the deceased and injured and continue to urge all sides to exercise restraint and respect right to people protest, she said.

"We communicated our concerns as well to the Government of Sri Lanka," Psaki said in response to a question on killing of three unarmed civilians by the Sri Lankan Army after residents of this township, northeast of Colombo, and surrounding villages were protesting a factory's discharges of chemical waste that were polluting drinking water.

The government argues the military was acting in self-defence as the protesters threw gasoline bombs. The Rajapaksha Government has announced compensation to the victims.


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