31 October, 2020

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Court Orders To Silence Two Human Rights Workers

The first order states that, as the Officer-in-Charge (OIC) of the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) is conducting an investigation into the terrorist activities of the LTTE and that if the information gathered during this investigation is given to local or international persons there will be great damage to this investigation, and by so providing this information there is a possibility that acts of terrorism or conflicts among races or religions can take place. Therefore the OIC of the TID has requested me to make such order for the persons named not to make any such statements. And the Magistrate has made the order accordingly.

AHRC-STM-052-2014In the second order, also made at the request of the OIC of the TID an order has been made to the effect to arrest and produce before court the above named persons if they come for the purpose of travel abroad without the permission of the court.

Copies of this order has been sent to the directors of Immigration and Emigration at international airports at Katunayake and Mattala, the director of the State Intelligence Service, and the director of the Criminal Investigation Department.

The Asian Human Rights Commission states that there was no reason in any way to connect these two human rights activists, who have merely done their duty to extend support to any victims or perceived victims of human rights abuses. In fact, the very mandate of a human rights defender is to provide assistance to anyone who is going through such circumstances. The United Nations Human Rights Council Resolution entitled, Protecting Human Rights Defenders, (April 12, 2013) among other things: “Urges the States to acknowledge publically the important and legitimate role of human rights defenders in the promotion of human rights, democracy and rule of law as an essential component of ensuring their protection, including by respecting the independence of their organisations and by stigmatisation of their work”. It was after the TID found them to be innocent of any unlawful activity that both of them were released. The international interventions and those by local agencies were made on the basis of the justification of their interventions as human rights activists. The government responded positively to the massive protest and created the impression of having resolved the problem. The actions which are now being taken to restrict their freedom of speech and to travel have therefore no legitimate basis.

Sri Lankan law protects the freedom of speech as well as the freedom for travel. Both of these rights are considered fundamental rights. Merely tagging on an accusation of some connection to the LTTE without sufficient evidence in order to create the impression of some illegal activity is not becoming of a legitimate government. Unfortunately the long period of violence that prevailed in the country for several decades left room for such arrests without the strict criterion relating to the law. A situation arose when, by the mere signature of an official, the most terrible accusations can be made and these led to the issuing of orders which have enormous consequences.

The resort to such orders now endangers everyone. An officer without providing any reliable evidence to the court may make such requests by which the freedom of any person can be jeopardised.

This action on the part of the TID itself is one more justification for the resolution which is now before the Human Rights Council. When the domestic legal system is blatantly abused the only recourse that a citizen will have is to turn to the United Nations human rights agencies. So far, the belief that the domestic system may still be utilised creates the illusion that justice is still possible in Sri Lanka. However, when the powers of arrest, detention are abused and other severe restrictions of the freedom of speech and movement are being made in this manner it is glaring proof of the justification for the resolution which is to be debated this week in Geneva.

*Statment by Asian Human Rights Commission

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Latest comments

  • 4
    2

    These guys are firing their guns on their own foot ! Idiots are going crazy without knowing what to do next. How lucky we are to have such a dumb ass patriotic politicians, who are trying to resurrect the dead and gone LTTE, in order to play the same old racist political game, harassing the already butchered lot, while UNHRC is still contemplating what to do next ?! No one seems to be serious about anything or what’s going on in the country where no human has any rights whatsoever. UNHRC is going at snail’s speed giving space and time to GoSl to complete their agenda without any hindrance. Who knows what UNHRC’s agenda is all about. Sadly, no one is honest or genuine.
    Two most important things today should be (1) Demilitarization of North and East (2) Letting the NPC and EPC function effectively. All the other things like international investigations ‘jilmart’ can be done afterwards. There won’t be any human to enforce human rights if demilitarization is delayed.

  • 3
    0

    Sri Lankan Jokers are exposed to the whole world. They may be laughing through their Asses.

    Keep playing Hambanthota Comedy tricks until the Puppets are kicked out from the stage.

    Comedies and puppet shows bring humor to the onlookers.

    Hambanthota Karawalaya PMR…..Pissu Moda Raja doing a great comedy show.

    • 1
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      Saman,
      unfortunately, this is the pathola situation that we have been facing today.
      Whether the elections would atleast send them a message – is still questionable. Having watched DERANA 360, I got it that Mahithreepala Senanayaka said all opinion polls are said to have revealed that the UPFA is now the front runner. See, I wonder what our voters feel by the time they vote them into power. I really dont understand this idiotic folks. This is the place where we have to hate Democracy.

  • 1
    0

    Country is ruled(ruined) by [Edited out] RAJAVASSASSSSS.

  • 2
    0

    The Jarapassa Government is trying all they can to cover up all their crimes. Its like they are trying to hide a whole pumpkin inside a plate of rice. What a bunch of crooked bastards.

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