“This action now proves that President Mahinda Rajapaksa is bankrupt of political will to even attempt to resolve the root causes of the Tamil National Question. As the UN Human Rights Commissioner acknowledged after her visit to Colombo in August 2013 and in her recent report, Mahinda Rajapaksa’s authoritarian tendency is now giving rise for him to think that he can suppress freedom of speech even overseas.” Suren Surendiran, the spokesperson of the Global Tamil Forum (GTF) told Colombo Telegraph.
When asked his opinion on Sri Lankan government’s attempt to ban Tamil diaspora organisations categorising them “as foreign terrorist entities” Surendiran said; “GTF as an organisation has clearly articulated to the world and the people of Sri Lanka that we actively promote non-violence and we seek a negotiated political settlement for the Tamil National Question”
Military spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasekera yesterday said that the government of Sri Lanka is in a process to proscribe certain Tamil diaspora organisations.
The GTF spokesperson said; “By creating fear and by allowing ‘terror’ through white van abductions, killings and by targeting local media organisations and personnel he has successfully suppressed freedom of speech internally in the island. Now by proscribing organisations in Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa is trying to intimidate members of international organisations like the Global Tamil Forum to give into his ‘terror’ tactics. Its a proven fact through the percentage votes his party gained in the recently held elections that his popularity internally too is weakening. UNHRC has given the authority to the Office of the UN HR Commissioner to initiate an international investigation into alleged breaches of international law in Sri Lanka. Fear has set in due to these combined reasons, is the only conclusion that can be drawn for his idea of proscription of organisations that function overseas. This is a typical reaction of dictators.
“We as an organisation will deploy all legal and political instruments that are at our disposal to send a clear message to the regime that none of these ‘terror’ tactics will work with us as we live in a free society where we cherish freedom of speech and democracy and democracy not as defined as in Sri Lanka but practicing democracy. Rajapaksa regime thinks that having elections by itself is democracy.
“This is yet another reason why the current human rights violations, crimes against humanity and abuses must be monitored and investigated by an international body like the UNHRC. International community must react decisively to let the Rajapaksa Regime know in no uncertain terms that there will be serious consequences for his actions or the lack of it.”