Over 100 activists from 50 countries meeting in Johannesburg during International Civil Society Week are deeply concerned by Sri Lankan President MahindaRajapaksa’s statement at the inauguration of the Commonwealth Peoples Forum in Colombo:
“While diversity of opinion is natural in civil society, it is important that one basic quality should underpin the work and the thinking of all civil society organizations. This quality without doubt should be feeling for one’s motherland and commitment to her well-being. The stature and territorial integrity of the country is the crucial consideration.”
We are concerned at the implied criticism and threat in the statement. We believe it is a sacred patriotic duty for collectives and every individual to draw attention to wrong doing, call for accountability and for governments to support and join in this endeavour, accept dissent and critique, and protect the rights of individuals and collectives who use the rule of law and call upon conscience to right those wrongs, says the Civicus, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative and Centre For Policy Alternatives
Issuing a statement they says; “In this context, we note with concern the ever-shrinking space and threats under which civil society organizations operate within Sri Lanka. In the recent past, individuals associated with civil society organisations in Sri Lanka have been attacked, disappeared and killed. However, the perpetrators of these crimes continue to evade justice.
“We note that several ministers in the Sri Lankan government have publically threatened civil society activists and have sought to justify and incite violence against them on the basis that their criticism of the activities of the government is “unpatriotic.” Many civil rights actors presently live under real threat to their lives, livelihoods and ability to associate lawfully with others or assemble peacefully.
“In this context we also decry the systematic attack on civil society activists by government owned print and electronic media, which portray activists as “treacherous” and “unpatriotic.” We note that in the lead up to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) to be held in Sri Lanka this week these media attacks have become more intense to the point where the general public have, quite shockingly, been encouraged to physically hurt individual activists.
“We call upon the Sri Lankan government to respect its international obligations and ensure an enabling environment for civil society organisations.
“We call upon the Secretary General of the Commonwealth and member states to seek assurances from the Sri Lankan government that it will protect human rights defenders and bring perpetrators of attacks on them to book.
We call upon the heads of governments of Commonwealth countries to urge the Sri Lankan government to protect and promote civil society – now and after the CHOGM spotlight has left the Sri Lankan stage.”
Percy Jilmart / November 15, 2013
Percy RajaPuck will get what most despots get one day.
“There is a saying that fortunes never come in pairs, and misfortune never comes alone. People who engage in wrong deeds may think that they are the winners but the global powers that I mentioned take care of them once their ‘good’ period lapses. According to Hethupala Nikaya (cause and effect) in Buddhism, people will reap what they sow,” said Sunil.
From an interview with Sunil Perera in the Sunday Leader
Pirana / November 16, 2013
“Percy RajaPuck will get what most despots get one day”
You mean a bullet through his head and chest??
hela / November 15, 2013
“In this context we also decry the systematic attack on civil society activists by government owned print and electronic media, which portray activists as “treacherous” and “unpatriotic.”
We the citizen of Sri Lanka decry and express outrage over the systematic attack on Sri Lanka and it’s peaceloving people including democratically elected leaders by the so called ‘civil society’ including Centre for Policy Alternatives with the help of imperealist global media outlets.
crazyoldmansl / November 15, 2013
This is the outcome of nationalism. This “civil society” should expose nationalism for what it is.
Waduge Ranjith De Silva / November 15, 2013
Well done Mr President. Wish you many happy returns of the day and long life with the blessings of the Triple Gems
Pirana / November 16, 2013
“Wish you many happy returns of the day and long life with the blessings of the Triple Gems”
Go to hell soon, You mongrel mass murderer with your brother the GOat.
gamini / November 15, 2013
A correct count for the number of Indian Flags displayed in the city of Colombo for the CHOGM will be awarded a prize. India please note.
vimukthi / November 15, 2013
Rajapakse said that his government was ready to take action against anyone found guilty of violating rights but it would not “divide the country”.
In what forum? In the Supreme Court infested with self-centred subservient stooges headed by the Mohan Peiris?
This man is probably the best known proved cheat which was totally disregarded by President Rajapakse who knew this man would ‘deliver’ his agenda with no question raised. This is the type of judiciary we have in Sri Lanka.
Judiciary’s stand on the rule of law was recently made cleared by Mohan Peiris in the open Court. In response to a rights application by parents of one tamil boy killed in the remand custody which was rejected by him, Mohan Peiris said that terrorists have no human rights.
This is shows the extent of undermining of the rule of law and degrading of judiciary under Rajapakse rule in Sri Lanka.