Sri Lankan Police Chief Resigns After Protest Crackdown

Posted June 1st, 2011 at 12:20 pm (UTC-5)
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Sri Lanka's police chief has quit after taking responsibility for a violent crackdown on a labor protest that left one demonstrator dead and 200 injured.

The defense ministry announced police chief Mahinda Balasuriya's resignation Wednesday saying his decision to step down was due to “displeasure” with the way police conducted themselves.

Earlier in the day, two police officers were arrested for their role in shooting at demonstrators.

Clashes broke out between police and labor union demonstrators Monday during a protest at a free trade zone outside the capital, Colombo. Protestors threw stones at police who retaliated by shooting live rounds and tear gas. At least 200 people were injured, including at least 12 officers. Officials say one critically injured protester died of his wounds Wednesday.

Workers were protesting the government's proposal to reform pension plans. The government has since scrapped the proposed changes in an effort to reduce tensions.