Sri Lanka using expired tear gas on protests?
A report prepared by the Centre for Society and Religion on the use of tear gas in Sri Lanka has revealed that Sri Lanka Police has not conducted any laboratory test over the contents of tear gas munitions.
The report filed based on the information obtained via the Right to Information Act revealed that Sri Lanka Police had used expired tear gas munitions to disperse protests in 2022, and some of those munitions were produced back in 2000.
It noted that in 2012, a total of 20,000 tear gas munitions were procured and until 2016 only 2,306 of those units were used.
The report adds that the remaining munitions were to expire in 2017, however they were not disposed.
It added that from 2012 to 2019 a total of over 40,000 tear gas munitions were to expire, and during that period 8,265 tear gas munitions were used on protests, and another 31,735 expired tear gas munitions remain in service.
The report from the Centre for Society and Religion notes that the handling of tear gas munitions by Sri Lanka Police totally violates all instructions given by the manufacturers, including to not deploy the munitions close to live firearms, and not to fire them directly at protestors.
It added that from March to July 2022, during the period of the worst economic crisis in the country, Sri Lanka Police deployed 6,722 tear gas munitions on 84 separate occasions at a cost of Rs. 26 Million.
It also notes the highest number of tear gas munitions fired by Sri Lanka Police on a single day was recorded during protests in 2022, where around 100 munitions were fired on protests daily.