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Asia-Pacific

Sri Lankan police arrested over live rounds fired at pensions demo

media Rice on sale in Colombo - the government has reduced the weight of food … Reuters/Dinuka Liyanawatte

Two senior Sri Lankan police officers have been arrested over live rounds fired at protests against a pension bill during which 150 people were injured in violent clashes.

Two inspectors have been detained over their conduct at Monday's protest in Katunayake, a town near the capital Colombo that is a major free-trade zone.

"The two senior officers have not been charged yet, but they were arrested in connection with the shooting at demonstrators," police spokesperson Prishantha Jayakody said.

A 22-year-old man was critically wounded at the protest and is on a life-support system in hospital, sources said.

About 12 police were among the 150 people wounded.

The authorities swiftly withdrew the pensions bill and declared a holiday in atunayake to defuse tension after thousands of workers took to the streets.

The government had proposed taking over provident fund contributions of private-sector employees and paying them a smaller pension after retirement.

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