29 November, 2020

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Civil Society Condemns Poster Campaign Vilifying Dr. Saravanamuttu

Prominent civil society organizations and activists in Sri Lanka by a statement signed by 19 organizations and 20 individuals, have condemned the appearance of posters vilifying Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, and those associated with him, in and around Colombo, on October 15, 2012. 

Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, Executive Director - CPA

The statement further said that they see this to be one more in a series of attacks that have been, and that continue to be, mounted against Sri Lankan citizens who are critical of authoritarian and arbitrary acts of the government and who demand accountability and justice for human rights violations.

The posters denounce Dr. Saravanamuttu, saying he is depriving fifteen hundred thousand poor Sri Lankan families of benefits under the proposed Divineguma Bill, and says that he and his ‘gang’ support the separation of the country. We see this to be a hostile reaction to the steps taken by Dr. Saravanamuttu and his organization, the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA), to challenge the constitutionality of the Divineguma Bill, which was placed before Parliament on August 10, 2012. Among the concerns raised by the petitioners were the potential for infringement on some powers devolved to Provincial Councils by law. The right to challenge the constitutionality of any Bill placed before Parliament is, according to our Constitution, enjoyed by every citizen of Sri Lanka. The issue continues to be under consideration by the Supreme Court.

Dr. Nimalka Fernando, one of the signatories and the President of the International Organization against discrimination and Racism said that the group condemn this action without reservation and call on the government and its law enforcement agencies to take all steps to uncover those responsible for the printing and publication of these posters.

Full statement will follow:

Civil Society Statement on the posters vilifying Dr. P. Saravanamuttu, Executive Director of the Centre for Policy Alternative (CPA)

As civil society organizations and activists committed to the protection of human rights, democracy and peace with justice in Sri Lanka, we are gravely concerned by the appearance of posters vilifying our colleague, Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, and those associated with him, in and around Colombo, on October 15, 2012. We see this as another act in a series of attacks against civil society actors who are seen to be critical of the government.

The posters denounce Dr. Saravanamuttu, saying he is depriving fifteen hundred thousand poor Sri Lankan families of benefits under the proposed Divineguma Bill, and says that he and his ‘gang’ support the separation of the country. We see this to be a hostile reaction to the steps taken by Dr. Saravanamuttu and his organization, the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA), to challenge the constitutionality of the Divineguma Bill, which was placed before Parliament on August 10, 2012. Among the concerns raised by the petitioners were the potential for infringement on some powers devolved to Provincial Councils by law. The right to challenge the constitutionality of any Bill placed before Parliament is, according to our Constitution, enjoyed by every citizen of Sri Lanka. The issue continues to be under consideration by the Supreme Court.

Although the posters bear no imprint, and thereby violate the law, there has been no attempt made so far to investigate the printing and dissemination of these posters and bring those responsible for this illegal act before justice. While we are well aware that in the past some political parties as well as civil society organizations have been compelled to resort to printing and publicising posters without an imprint because of the persistent repression of the freedom of opinion and expression, in this case we feel that these posters spread ideas of hatred against an individual and the ideas he stands for and are therefore indefensible in the name of the freedom of expression.

We see this to be one more in a series of attacks that have been, and that continue to be, mounted against Sri Lankan citizens who are critical of authoritarian and arbitrary acts of the government and who demand accountability and justice for human rights violations.

We condemn this action without reservation and call on the government and its law enforcement agencies to take all steps to uncover those responsible for the printing and publication of these posters.

Sgd:

Organisations:

1.    Mr Britto Fernando –  Family Organisation of the Disappeared

2.    Mr Sudarshana Gunawardana – Rights Now Collective for Democracy

3.    Dr. Nimalka Fernando  – IMADR (Asia Committee)

4.    Mr. Herman Kumara – National Fisheries Solidarity Association

5.    Ms. Padmini Weerasooriya – Mothers and Daughters of Lanka

6.    Mr. J. C Weliamuna AAL – Lawyers for Democracy

7.    Mr. Philip Dissanayake – Right to Life Human Rights Centre

8.    Mr. Freddy Gamage  – Centre for People’s Dialogue

9.    Ms Sunila Abeysekera  – INFORM

10.  Dr. Jehan Perera  – National Peace Council

11.   Ms. Visaka Dharmadasa – Association Women Affected by War

12.   Fr. Nandana Manatunga- Human Rights Office

13.   P.P. Sivapragasam – Human Development Organization
14.   R. Nadarasa –           Workers Solidarity Union

15.   Mr. K S Ratnavale, AAL – Centre for Human Rights and Development

16.  Ms. Sherine Xavier – Home for Human Rights

17.  Rev. Ashok Stephen – Centre for Society and Religion

18.  Ms. Mala Liyanage   –   Law and Society Trust

19.  Ms. Pushpa Chandrakanthi – Savisthri

Individuals:

 

 

  1. Mr. Lal Wijenayake, Attorney at Law
  2. Mr. Chandra Kumarage. Attorney-at-Law
  3. Mr  R M B Senanayake – Retried Civil Servant
  4. Mr. Gamini Viyangoda, Writer and Journlist
  5. Mr. Chandraguptha Thenuwara, Visual Artist
  6. Ms  Shreen Abdul Saroor  – Women’s Rights Activist
  7. Ms  Damaris Wickramasekera  – Civil Society Activist
  8. Mr  Kusal Perera  – Journalist
  9. Dr.  Sepali Kottegoda  –
  10. Mr.  Lakshan Dias  – Attorney-at-Law
  11. Mr. P N. Singam
  12. Mr. Ruki Fernando
  13. Rev. Fr Rohan Silva
  14. Ms. Visaka Tillerkeratne
  15. Dr. Devanesan Nesiah
  16. Dr. Anita Nesiah
  17. Mr. Mohamed Mahuruf
  18. Mr. Sampath Puspakumara Attorney-at-Law
  19. Mr. Udaya Kalupathirana
  20. Rev. Sr Angela Fernando

Related posts;

CPA Discloses Military Visited Its Office And Condemns The Government’s Policy Of Intimidation

Hate Poster Campaign Against Civil Society Launched In Colombo

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Latest comments

  • 0
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    The Civil Society condemning this action alone is not enough. They should take the arrogant MR Govt. to task. Further why only this few have signed? What about the rest? The Professional Bodies, Friday Forum, Bar Association and a Petition for the Law abiding Citizens of this country?

  • 0
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    Saravanamuttu lives on NGO money which is gen to ruin Sri Lanka. Some of the organizations that supports him are Church affiliated. NGOS are a big business as the western govts can not interfere directly in other countries NGO play that role.

    So, here NGOS are fighting for Saravanamuttu who is another NGO.

    Sri Lanka should ban most NGOs as they are there to ruin the country in order to fatten their bank accounts.

    • 0
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      Thalaivar – What a load of rat shit! You obviously don’t know Sara, nor are you aware of some of the invaluable work carried out by other NGOs in the country over many years. So stop generalizing and displaying your ignorance – you are only making an ass of yourself.

  • 0
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    Dr. Sara is a wealthy person by birth. I do not think that he has to have his life with NGO money. If he wants he could easily get higher positions in even in UN or foreign universities and have luxury life.

    • 0
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      Ram, these buggers who accuse individuals as Sara that he is on the pay of International NGOs, do so not knowing the background of people. They believe all are from the gutter as themselves, who have come up in society doing some misdeed as they have done, to have made their fortunes.

      • 0
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        My dear Gamini aka SGM ( Sans Grey Matter)

        can you please answer this question.

        Now according to you Pakyasothy is a wealthy oh-so-lovely person ,why on earth does he want a hefty pay check as he admitted to Dilka Samanmalee . BTW it brings to mind, same argument had been brought vindicate Ms. CBK saying she was born rich and hence was not corrupt ,same goes to Benazir etc. so don’t be so childish and naive
        These guys are in it for foreign funds period . If you cannot comprehend that , then you should at least have your head examined preferably by Brian Senewiratne

        • 0
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          Mike people with little grey matter see the others sans grey matter and it can not be helped. As for CBK, yes they belonged to the wealthy. I do not think that one can point a finger at SWRD and say he was corrupt, although his Nationalist and Socialist Policies spelled doom to this country. As it always happen the wealth accumulated by the elders in families are squandered by children. The same applies to the Bandaranayakes. Hence the need for CBK to rob so openly and shamelessly. Otherwise where is the money for her to gallavant in the UK as she is doing now, having educated her children there which costs. Earlier Ronnie Pieris looked after her, accomodation and expenses. In return once she became President, Ronnie benifited immensely, which is a public secret. I do not know about my head but certainly yours have to be examined by a mechanic.

        • 0
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          With all respect to your comments that you usual put, Gamini, I consider are of my great interest

          But for sure, this kind of villifications on CBK cant be acceptable. Lankens in genral are world champions in spreading falsehoods about anyone.

          At the time, MR was elected, there was a big mud slinging campaign against CBK – accusing her of being bought palaces in the US and UK. But none of them were able to prove.

          Truth as it is, though the guys around her were the most corrupted, I NO WAY believe that she was a corrupted leader. She finanzed the education of her an open statement. Besides, there are few hundreds of SL students from wealthy parents study in the UK annually, why cant CBK´s children belong to that category ?. I personally know dozens who have got Uni education in the Uk. Most of them are not that wealthy in SL either. Their parents have sold their properties in SL to allow the college fees.

        • 0
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          Pubudini, both Anurudha and Chandrika are closely related. Yet I can not hide their dark side which I would not have done to any, how ever close I may be. I will leave Anurudha out as there is nothing to prove not. As for CBK, she herself made millions from govt. deals which was also revealed by MR but MR can not take CBK to task without himself getting exposed. If not you would have known what she had been upto. I remember the first time the Colombo Commercial Company Land was discussed at a Meeting, she was busy calculating the price on a calculator how much it was worth. Unfortunately for her and Fortunately for Gota the remaining assets have been a good kill for these poor Politicians. I was just laughing to myself, at the advertising of the redevelopeed Colombo Race Course. It was they who first closed it and allowed it to go to ruin. Now they are renovating and taking the credit. To mention a few deals where CBK made good was Air Lanka, Shell Gas, Thawakkal Cement much against LK’s advice, Water’s Edge, Sri Lanka Insurance and so on. CBK was smart not to stash away in FD in local Banks like Anurudha. Therefore Pubudini please do not blame me for exposing.

        • 0
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          Pubudini, reference CBK educating her children in the UK, I am sure quite many of us being there, know the difficulties we went through finding funds although some parents managed to send the fees across. We had to do odd jobs for our little expenses of going to Pubs and Open Markets. Yet the luxuries enjoyed by the CBK offspring with friends dining and vining in five star hotels in the UK as shown in photographs while as students, was unheard, as it could not be afforded even by the offspring of the rich.

    • 0
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      He is very welcome to the work for the UN . why wont he ? A milliion dollar question .Possibly the benefits which he gets now as NGO is no where near the UN salary.

      • 0
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        Making baseless allegations, throwing mud at others as they can never imagine to attain in this life the standards of people whom they criticise is an inherent weakness of the lesser mortals.

  • 0
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    Sara = thanks for taking up the matter.CPA is the only salvation in the absence of a strong opposition.

  • 0
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    The easiest way to discount people like Dr. Pakiasothy is to accuse them of corruption or make them look dishonest. The easiest way to discount international bodies like the UN and Human RIghts, is to make them look dishonest themselves, or having ulterior motives. The easiest way to handle Western countries who demand accountability for war crimes is to make them evil empires who are guilty of crime themselves.
    Do we see a pattern here?

    Instead of addressing the crimes they are accused of, the Rajapaksa regime makes a habit of making those who speak up for the people of Sri Lanka, human rights and want accountability, the criminals.
    We know the pattern of deceit now.

  • 0
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    Most people who contribute comments do not know their facts.As for CBK gallivanting ,I can say as a secretary in her small staff that she gets 7 or 8 requests from UN agencies and other affiliated commissions inviting her for conferences paying her well.She turns down many such requests but the few she undertakes enroute she visits her children in UK.Please make it a point to have your facts correct before you touch your pen.

    • 0
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      Sunila Mendis, before CBK made a come back she was hard pressed for money for her and her familiy’s needs. This she very openly said in an interview that she had to pawn some jewellery of hers towards medical care for her mother Sirimavo. Then she used to come in rubber slippers to Galadari Hotel with her children for a swim and Chandra Mohotti used to allow the Presidential Suite free of charge. The time I was in the UK she was looked after by Ronnie Pieris. Both Ronnie and Chandra were looked after handsomely. If you say that she is in heavy demand by UN Agencies to impart her knowledge and experiences, I remember the time working for an Authority under the govt. where meetings had been fixed in the morning how so many other heads of Dept. used to spend hours kicking their heals and waiting being served with tea and short eats till she eventually came down from upstairs in the afternoon once she was sober enough. This she did during her entire eleven years in Office and she never ever had a meeting in the morning although many had been scheduled so. The other joke was once she accidently left behind the pad she was scribbling during an important meeting and everyone thought that she was taking down notes. No she had been drawing butterflies and flowers. I can understand your loyalty. How can you let her down when you all had a damn good time under her? What are the UN assignments for, Art Classes? I will stop with this without venturing on to her otherside of the craze for Actors.

      • 0
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        This man – Gamini is almost like a malicious person who would hate entire folks. There are times, he attacked muslims just because they blindly believe in Alllah. I have read not once several times here, he only chased poor adherents of islam. Now he has turned to attacked CBK. He seems to be having know-all charactor, but sometimes just leave his comments without focusing ON the facts. Most funniest thing is he becomes very hurt when someone would just pass few comments against RW. To everyone´s eye RW is most incapble opposition leader in the history since independence – he is not even paving the way reformists to come foward. But for Gamni, RW is the leader and GOD for the future of the country – latter alone shows his knowledge how he thinks to judge what kind of person he is.

        • 0
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          Suranimala, you post the above comment and follow it with another below saying you agree. Are you are agreeing with yourself or you are trying to mislead the reader that there are more than your self thinking alike?

    • 0
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      Quite agree, there are guys like Gamini, who just wants to kill the time keep adding comments of his own thinking- far distant from the realities OR facts. Two terms for which CBK was elected as the president were not easy for her. I know this well. At the time, 89 insurgencies left the nation with all fears and psychosis – thanks to Premadasa murder squads and JVP counterparts – there was an anarchial situation. We then Uni students were compelled to leave the country to save our lives. Even in CBK´S SECOND term, it was not easy for her at all most corrupted UNP henchmen – when seeing the behaviour of today ´s UNP – one can easily understand it better, whether RW under his leadership at all allows any leader to cooperate. RW seems to be puppet – if not today, when he is planning to function. Country is robbed by rulers on day light, what the Oppo leader ´s task is remained mum. No protests led by him – No poster demonstrations led by him – No street demonstrations together with FUTA – though UNP could have supported those strikes – to lead it a waterloo of the curret thieves.

      • 0
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        Suranimala, when Sunila fails you believe you can carry the mantle? Good! To quote you, ‘I know this well. At the time, 89 insurgencies left the nation with all fears and psychosis – thanks to Premadasa murder squads and JVP counterparts – there was an anarchial situation. We then Uni students were compelled to leave the country to save our lives’. Well if you were not involved in anti govt. activity, your life would not have been in danger. There were many who posed as innocent, but who were merderous JVP by night. You seem to be one of them who had fled. Thereafter was responsible lambasting Ranil with Batalanda thinking he could be lugged. But unfortunately to your ilk, the very Commission appointed by CBK with whom you happen to cohabit then, discharged RW. Yet you all went on accusing RW on Batalanda and now it has become counterfeit. So when I state facts, your ilk find it difficult to stomach. Suranimala, the readership is free to judge, without your pronouncements. Therefore please focus on issues or if you can counter what I state as untrue.

  • 0
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    Person like Pakiasothy , Nihal S Amaresekera are brave jewels of this country to challenge corrupt swindlers & rogues.

  • 0
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    THANK GOD FOR PEOPLE LIKE PAKIASOTHY AND NIHAL S.AMERASEKARA, IN A
    NATION OF SPINELESS,STUPID COWARDS. IT IS IN A CRISIS SITUATIONS THAT HEROS EMERGE. I SALUTE THEM.STAND FIRM IN YOUR FIGHT AGAINST THE
    CORRUPT RUHUNU ROBBER BARONS.TRUTH WILL TRIUMPH IN THE END.

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