6 December, 2022

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Drop Terror Charges Against Student Leaders Detained For 90 Days: Amnesty International

In response to the detention for over 90 days of student leaders Wasantha Mudalige and Galwewa Siridhamma Thero, under the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), Thyagi Ruwanpathirana, Amnesty International’s South Asia Regional Researcher, said: “The continued targeted persecution of student leaders in Sri Lanka has a chilling effect on civil society and the right to protest. The baseless terror charges against Wasantha Mudalige and Galwewa Siridhamma Thero must be immediately dropped and any extension of the detention order must be stopped.”

“The use of counterterrorism charges against protesters is excessive and disproportionate, yet they have time and again been used by the Sri Lankan authorities against critics and minorities to silence dissent. Detaining protesters under counterterrorism charges is a clear violation of the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly guaranteed by the Constitution of Sri Lanka and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Sri Lanka is a state party. International human rights law requires that counterterrorism laws must not be used to criminalize those who either organize or participate in peaceful assemblies.”

“The Sri Lankan authorities must repeal the PTA, which does not meet international human rights standards, and must uphold their already stated commitment to end its use. The authorities should immediately review the detention of all those held under the PTA, ensuring adequate access to fair bail hearings. They should also release all protesters facing similar charges that do not meet international standards.”

Background

Sri Lankan student leaders Wasantha Mudalige, the convener of Inter University Students’ Federation and Galwewa Siridhamma Thero, the convener of Inter University Bhikku Federation have been detained by the Sri Lankan authorities since 18 August 2022. They had their detention extended for 90 days on 21 August 2022 under the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) amidst an ongoing crackdown on protesters by the authorities.

Their family members and lawyer have raised concerns about their safety and deteriorating health while in detention. Amnesty International has issued an Urgent Action on the arbitrary detention of the student leaders.

Amnesty International has previously documented the crackdown by the Sri Lankan authorities on protesters who now face intimidation, harassment and arrest. The suppression of protest and the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly, movement and expression must stop and the government must protect the right to protest.

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Latest comments

  • 6
    0

    The leaders feel the terror because of fear of being exposed of what they themselves have robbed in their corruption. Actions of Vasantha and Thero highlight the plight of citizen’s lack due to robber leaders, who really need inner healing. Must stop robbing to get rid of their inner terror manifesting and wanting to murder Vasantha and Thero in prison like in Batalanda in 1989 which we all witnessed, some even breathing when they were cremated. 1971 insurrection attacked police stations.

  • 13
    0

    Yes, Drop the bloody nonsense and release all the PTA prisoners, right now. The Tamil parents have been led up the garden path for too long for political expediency/advantage/mileage.

    The LTTE is dead and buried long ago …….. forgive and forget ….. the incarcerated youth will surely be exemplary productive citizens – most certainly, more than the current lot of deadbeat pols who keep them in gaol.

    Even though some are Hindus, will be better Buddhists too, to boot: following Buddha’s teaching to the letter ——- more than the 225.

    Right or wrong, misguided or not, the Lankan youth fought and died for others: they didn’t die for themselves (What’s the point?) ……. To bring a better future for others. They died for something they believed in. …….. Only ol’ Ranil will go and die for himself and later think “What was all that about?”

    I don’t advocate/condone violence ……. but in my entire life, the burnings on the night of the 9th of May had more political significance and achieved more than …… 74 years of peddling utter bullshit in parliament/parliaments.

    I’m a simple man ….. who see simple things. …… I leave sophistication to others ………. wallow to ye heart’s content ……

    • 6
      2

      This is a very short article:
      .
      .
      Good!
      .
      .
      And, nimal fernando, you, too have kept your message very simple: release Wasantha Mudalige & Siridhamma.
      .
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe of Bandarawela

    • 4
      4

      Dear NF and all,
      .
      Do you think any law abiding country would legally allow Sri Lanka style protests (centered on yesterday’s march) regardless of anyone’s politics?
      .
      Is it possible in the US? What if the US economy was in a similar state to our current economy?

      I believe, if the conditions were the same, no country in Europe would allow such protests. We experienced it in fallen Greece.
      :
      Did they let the Lebanese and Argentinians do it? I mean regular protest marches? To my information, no.
      :
      People need to understand that any kind of progress could push us off the cliff for at least a few months until the battered economy has revenue streams. So what if it is fallen deeper than any way come back ? Then we will never be able to come back… our status would be reaching to the level of SOMALIA or the like minded highly corrupted countries.
      tbc

      • 4
        4

        cont.
        JVPrs interpret it yet today narromindedly. They repeatedly say, just nearly 3 billions of US dollars, the current men make big hopes, but the truth is, with the bail out of IMF, several other doors will be open to revitalize our economy.
        People are constantly misled for their selfish agendas. Be them JVPrs or the others, they are all the same. I dont see any clean and unique way out of JVPrs so far. I am afraid, I have the right me as a srilanken to share it in this forum, EVEN some ludicrous commenters are hired to shy me or the like neutral thought bearers away.

        Now the ESTRANGED SM (he is always wrong about interpretations, only creating a new kind of division between me and honest commenters about CT) starts misinterpreting what I have added here, as I am a staunch supporter of Ranil. Why should I support him? I have not lived in that country for many years. So I want only the right people to continue their inputs..

  • 8
    3

    How nasty Ranil is he is not different to Gota.

  • 14
    0

    nf
    “I’m a simple man ….. who see simple things. “

    OK: Let me ask you a simple question.
    Are, Sri Lankans a bunch of jokers or just hypocrites?

    PTA has been around for over 40 years, Tamils suffered the worst innocent people were locked for decades without a single charge but you dint hear a single Sinhalese protest or ask for fair justice, now just two Sinhalese are charged using PTA and all are up in arms. Today the two are transferred but still there are Tamils with no recourse.

    • 6
      3

      Bert, Lives of both tamils and sinhalese are important and we need unity. Prabakaran’s bombs were terror attacks on us all and we lived in fear for lives of our families, but Vasantha and Thero did no terror attacks and details of their whereabouts were known. It is true that some innocent tamils locked up did not receive justice. It happened in Batalanda too, but that past should not hold the present in bondage. In fact both Hindus and Buddhists who believe in rebirth need to accept that Prabakaran may now be a sinhalese whereas Wijeweera may now be a tamil. So it is good for both sides to live in unity, even though past justice may have been denied.

      • 4
        0

        Bert,

        I had some time to think ……

        In truth, I don’t care for the Tamils, don’t care for the Sinhalese, don’t care for the Lankans ……… don’t much care for anyone ……….including myself.

        But I sorta care for the truth (or what I think/feel is the truth) for a very selfish reason ……. it gives me some kind of direction in life

        Sorta connect the dots ……. to get somewhere …….. I still yet don’t know

        If the incarcerated Tamil youth get released, I’ll be happy for them ……. but it’s more about me feeling good than about them

        There you have it …….. you should keep fighting for your own kind: most others wont …….. I certainly won’t.

        I don’t pretend to care ……..I just can’t afford to.


        I’ve walked past homeless people (many of you would’ve as well) shivering in the freezing cold trying to find a place to sleep ……. I could’ve brought them home given them a warm meal and a cosy bed for the night …… I didn’t: didn’t want to get entangled in their troubles …….. If the places were reversed and I was homeless ……… I don’t want some sanctimonious humbug to make a hue and a cry about how much he cares without doing anything to help out. I would prefer to be homeless out in the cold than be the victim of someone’s useless pity.

        • 2
          0

          This part might’ve got truncated

          I’ve walked past homeless people (many of you would’ve as well) shivering in the freezing cold trying to find a place to sleep ……. I could’ve brought them home given them a warm meal and a cosy bed for the night …… I didn’t: didn’t want to get entangled in their troubles …….. If the places were reversed and I was homeless ……… I don’t want some sanctimonious humbug to make a hue and a cry about how much he cares without doing anything to help out. I would prefer to be homeless out in the cold than be the victim of someone’s useless pity.

    • 6
      3

      Dear Bert,
      .
      I’m sure that I have added my voice to those asking for justice for Tamils taken in under PTA.
      .
      However, this has to be answered differently from merely asserting that I’ve done that.
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe (NIC 483111444V)

    • 5
      0

      Bert.
      “Are, Sri Lankans a bunch of jokers or just hypocrites?”
      You hit “the nail right on the head”!!!
      Nevertheless, a truthful answer forthcoming is very scarce!!!
      Universal truth of all the UNDERLYING ISSUES AND PROBLEMS IN NATION STATE IS BEING UNRAVELLED camouflaged until now, due to the developing situation and circumstances as a result of the self-inflicted economic downturn – EXCESSIVE CONSUMERISM, YEARS OF CONTINUED DEFICIT BUDGETTING, CORRUPTION, ROBBERY OF NATIONAL WEALTH AND MAL-ADMINISTRATION all combined in a “MALLUNG”, resulting in AGITATION AND PROTESTS, AGAINST SHORTAGES AND DEPRIVATION, which in return is being countered by government with PTA to put down!!!???
      It would appear, 2600years of culture and civilisation coming apart at its Seams!??
      Add to the misery the ‘saffron robes are complaining that, CEB is not relenting on subsidised power rates and billing for religious preaching!!???
      Wonder, how they preached religion, BEFORE THE ADVENT OF MICHAEL FARADAY AND HIS DISCOVERY OF ELECTROMAGNETISM AND INVENTION OF MOTORS and generators!!??
      “POLTHEL PAHANA”!!! THE ENLIGHTENED HAVE CONVENIENTLY FORGOTTEN THEIR ORIGINS!!!??? ALL THESE NAYAKE THEROSE WOULD HEVE BEEN TRAINED WHEN THEY WERE SAMANERAS!!!??
      ADDICTION TO LUXURY AND EXTRAVAGENCE – ROOT CAUSE OF DOWNFALL!!!

      • 2
        1

        Mahila. They are both. This CT Forum has become one as a Bawling Green for the geriatrics. Whereas, it should have been a platform for subjective and objective discussion without naming individuals and parties within an inert environment. Panini Edirisinhe (NIC 483111444V ) has turned it into a cesspit and destroyed its objectivity by being egoistic. I had no intention of canvassing support from the CT readership including MF & LM. It was instigated by the sentiments that stood out stoically expressed loudly and clearly in their comments in this forum which rightly should be a passive mirror to highlight the social evils aimed at correcting them. It so happened that what I got hit with was a disaster engulfing the whole citizenry. The independence which is the foundation of the judicial system was turned to rubble by two highest officials with vested interests, of the judiciary amounting to raping of the blindfolded lady holding a balance in one hand and a lance in the other. I strongly feel that everybody must stand up tall denouncing it with the kind of same ferocity as towards PTA.

        • 2
          0

          HP,
          any updates about your recent posts to CT regarding judiciary stuff ?

          • 1
            2

            Hi LM. S-M has got no clue about what he is talking about. CBK during her Presidency had a hit squad to harass her political foes. A local Police Station was put under their control with unbridled power without any let or hindrance to carry out extortion, murder, land grabs etc., etc. They trespassed the property of a highly respected SSP who got assaulted maiming him for the rest of his life when he confronted them. The Police Station ignored his call for help. They terrorized the whole area until they were murdered and incinerated by a rival gang. The judges had to kowtow to them. I wrote to the President of BASL seeking legal advise. He never responded to it. Everybody is frightened of the criminal mafia. It was a copy of that letter I forwarded to the Editors of CT hoping that you could have it forwarded. It is important to know the kind of perils which can beset on people.They did not respond to me. This is a national catastrophe.

      • 3
        1

        Dear Mahila,
        .
        I agree with most of what you say.
        .
        However, may I state that it would be much easier for us to read if you used CAPITAL letters only where they’re absolutely necessary. I find myself making typos when I use capitals. I see at least two in your comment.
        .
        I use bold letters a lot, and sometimes italics. It would be quite in order for you to tell me that they’re irritants!
        .
        Panini Edirisinhe

    • 6
      1

      Bert,

      People only care for their own kind. Well, even that, up to a point. …….. What are you going to do about it? Can you do anything about it: human nature?

      We are all well camouflaged/hidden jokers, hypocrites, misanthropes, misogynists, racists, ……… you-name-it ……

      I don’t much care for anyone …… not even for myself, that much ……..


      And that’s a simple fact.


      Do you want examples? ……. Me to waste my time giving examples?

      • 2
        2

        You’re right, nimal.
        .
        They waste our time in various ways. Asking for minute details is one of them.
        .
        They actively attempt to divide the forces opposing the illegitimate President. I don’t think it fair to link you to the same sites more than once. It’s unfair by CT.
        .
        https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/national-councils-economic-stabilisation-report-is-a-welcome-sign/comment-page-1/?unapproved=2448199&moderation-hash=e7cbc119c3b54df14809bad021311d1a#comment-2448199
        .
        The space taken up by the link could have been reduced; I could have gone back and then forward, but this way you will be carried direct to the comment that I’d like to take you to. Isn’t it clear, from the way Harini speaks, that within the NPP they have no problems To some of these people it may seem strange that English-speaking Harini is quite happy playing one of the second fiddles to AKD. In parliament she speaks in Sinhala for many reasons. One is because otherwise the rank and file in the JVP may feel that she’s speaking in a language labelled as superior.
        .
        Let any language be used decorously in its proper place.

    • 2
      0

      Bert,
      .
      You may be right.
      .
      The situation in Sri Lanka today is no different from a man suffering from terminal cancer. Not only economy, education, society, religion, but all other sectors are affected by excessive corruption and complete ignorance. They act like they know everything, but many of them don’t care about world standards in Sri Lankan politics and authorities. They live only their hidden inclinations, completely unaware of the danger before the majority of the helpless in this country. Statistics about their country are also WERE FALICIFIED for some hidden reasons. It was their poverty long before good governance seized power in 2015, all twisted for their ride by Cabral-Madamulan son of a bitch.

      In the end it was like an elephant entering a pottery house.
      .
      Ironically even today, the Sri Lankan media paints the picture even more in favor of Rajapaksa: in a civilized country, not a single Rajapaksa from that barbaric family would be allowed to misuse public funds any longer. Instead, they would be thrown to a jail cell.

  • 8
    0

    It is not about Ranil or Gota or Sirisena or Mahinda or Premadasa or Chandrika or JRJ. It is the Executive Power to a Politicians to oppress the people. Why the people gave two third majority to these politicians? The Sinhalese people gave this power because they wanted to eliminate Tamils and Muslims. Now they have got the skill to eliminate people and now it is time for Sinhalese to get.

    • 2
      0

      Ajith,
      It’s still common in Sri Lanka, when it comes to hitting it, they don’t differentiate one from the other. They treat all CORRUPTED mena nd women equally.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8DSQSTp_14
      -Please read the comments added to this video.
      .
      Is that to minimize the truth about the real crooks? Premadasa also terrorised own nation day and night as a big criminal and destroyed almost everything by the early 90s.
      We thought that the nation would never allow a man OF PREMADASA nature to emerge in Sri Lankan politics.
      The sad reality is that with the rise of Mahinda it has become “beyond Mugabeism”. Please see the comments being added to a youtube video on his birthday. People would kill him on the spot being unable to bear Rajapakshes anymore.
      .
      Mahinda Rajakashe went beyond the levels of all evil leaders and looted the state knowing the extent of people’s very grievances. Even now he cuts birthday cakes using public funds.
      His parents’ monuments were hated and demolished by mobs on the 9th May 2022, and even Mahinda’s coffin will undoubtedly be stoned by mobs. Human suffering is incalculable.

  • 5
    2

    “HUMBUGGERY” is the name of the “Game” played by the people who have made “Politics” – a “Professional Career” and play the role of “Prostitution”.

    The latest in this “Game” was the appointment of Ranil W as the PM by Gotabaya. The worst scenario in that “Game” was a man who got kicked out of his seat in Parliament to have accepted the appointment. The Constitution says A person who commands a majority in Parliament. Did Gotabaya “Dude” know that Ranil W was a “Single” seat MP? Didn’t Ranil W know he was “Prostituting” to become the PM and subsequently be the “President”?

    That is a very brief “Resume” of these two Presidents. Now, should anyone argue on the “LITERACY” and “INTEGRITY” capabilities of signing a “DETENTION ORDER” under PTA to detain those two student activists by this “DUDE” Ranil W? It is waste of time and a challenge to one’s own “Literacy” and “Integrity”. “Humbuggaery” and “Prostitution” are the survival techniques for these politicians.

  • 2
    2

    Dear Simon, nimal, Mahila, et al,
    .
    You show an intelligent grasp of what is happening in Lanka.
    .
    I feel really very sorry for “leelagemalli“, a guy who is conscious of having only the noblest of motives. In this he is utterly sincere. But, he seems:
    .
    “A man so various, that he seem’d to be
    Not one, but all Mankind’s Epitome,” etc
    .
    It’ll be read out for you here:
    .
    https://thewellreadpoem.libsyn.com/s6e3-zimri-from-absalom-and-achitophel-by-john-dryden
    .
    Those twelve minutes are NOT Youtube. I’ve been thinking about how CT is superior to YouTube. Let me give you the results here:
    .
    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/manslaughter-by-proxy/
    .

    As for hanchopancha, there is much that I can say, but really, he’s beneath my contempt; I don’t want to degrade myself by talking about him. I hope that my resolve holds for ever; but I know my imperfections. Please don’t think me inconsistent if I give him broadside sometime when I have little else to do. LM would have had just enough intelligence not to allow HP to have his contact details. I gave them to LM ages ago.
    .
    I will trust LM with anything. If only (sigh!) he had been blessed with at least average intelligence!

    .
    Panini Edirisinhe

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