28 November, 2021

Blog

Mass Poster Campaign Launched Against Commemoration Of Enforced Disappearances In Sri Lanka

Human Rights organisations condemn a poster which has been exhibited in Sri Lanka attacking the enforced disappearances commemoration as a work of “dollar crows”.  “This attack, by way of publicly exhibiting the posters of those concerned with the plight of their fellow men and women and labeling them as “dollar crows”, needs to be condemned as a barbaric attack. Attacking the commemoration of the dead is an attack on civilization itself.” said the Asian Human Rights Commission in a statement today.

While calling upon the government to investigate and take legal action against those responsible for the illegal posters, the AHRC also urges the government to protect this commemorative meeting.

We publish below the statement in full;

Every year on the 27th of October a commemoration of the enforced disappearances is held at the Raddoluwa junction in Seeduwa, in the front of the monument for the victims of enforced disappearances. On this day, parents, brothers, sisters, and other relatives and friends of the disappeared person gather at the monument, and several events are held to commemorate the loss of their loved ones.

PosterThese events include the placing of flowers before the wall where the photographs of over 600 disappeared persons are exhibited. It has always been a very emotional moment when mothers, fathers, relatives, and friends place flowers and say their prayers before the images of their loved ones. Other events held are religious ceremonies conducted by Buddhist, Christian, and Muslim clergy, according to the respective religious traditions of those disappeared. In line with local tradition dhana (alms) are offered to a number of Buddhist monks from nearby temples.

Different pieces of audio-video footage are shown to remember the tragedy faced by these disappeared persons. Many speakers attend the events to express their solidarity with the families of the disappeared and to support their call for investigations and justice regarding these disappearances. The monument for the disappeared persons was erected in the year 2000. This commemoration event has been held continuously during the last 14 years, receiving considerable coverage in the media.

Among the persons who have spoken at this commemoration in the past is incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who has supported the event and promised support for demand for justice by the families of the disappeared. Other guests have included many well-known politicians from all spectrums of political life in Sri Lanka, as well as intellectuals and persons committed to the pursuit of human rights in Sri Lanka. Among the guests for this year’s commemoration is Victor Ivan a well-known journalist, and an Editor of the highly respected newspaper Ravaya.

While the event is being advertised, a poster has been exhibited in Negombo, Colombo, and many other parts of the country, attacking the commemoration as a work of “dollar crows”. These posters have photographs of Victor Ivan, Brito Fernando (who has been a founder member of the families of the disappeared and a spokesman for this cause), Phillip Dissanayake (also a founder member of the group), and five other persons who have appeared as guests at previous commemorations or have actively supported this commemoration.

This poster does not carry the names of those responsible for its creation and publication. Therefore, under Sri Lanka’s law this is an illegal poster. However, the law enforcement authorities have allowed the posters to be exhibited and have not taken any action against persons who are responsible for the publication and pasting of these illegal posters.

On behalf of the families of the disappeared persons, complaints have been made to the Inspector General of Police and also to all the nearby police stations, to investigate the matter and provide protection for the holding of this commemoration. The organizers also fear that those responsible for the publication of this illegal poster have done so with the purpose of disrupting the commemoration. They fear that there may be attempts to disrupt the commemorative activities, which are set to take place throughout the day on 27th October 2014, i.e. today.

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) condemns this shameful attempt to discredit and disrupt a commemorative meeting by the families who have suffered due to enforced disappearances of their family members. Under international law, causing of enforced disappearances is a heinous crime.

Regarding such disappearances, which have taken place in the South as well as the North and East of the country, it is the government security forces that have been perceived as the perpetrators. The government has publicly undertaken the responsibility of investigating the enforced disappearances and has also appointed various commissions for this purpose. However, it is a secret agency, either directly controlled by the Ministry of Defense or working under its patronage that is likely to have conducted this massive pasting of the posters against those promoting the commemoration on behalf of the families of the disappeared.

The AHRC asks everyone to intervene to protect the rights of citizens to express their sympathies and condolences to those who have been unjustly and illegally destroyed by way of enforced disappearances. If, even the basic right to mourn for the loss of their loved ones is attacked, then there can hardly be any space for the protection of the freedom of expression of the people.

This attack, by way of publicly exhibiting the posters of those concerned with the plight of their fellow men and women and labeling them as “dollar crows”, needs to be condemned as a barbaric attack. Attacking the commemoration of the dead is an attack on civilization itself.

While calling upon the government to investigate and take legal action against those responsible for the illegal posters, the AHRC also urges the government to protect this commemorative meeting.

The AHRC also wishes to bring this attack to the attention of all international agencies, including all governments, and all of them are urged to intervene at this stage so that such actions will not be repeated and the democratic rights of the people will be respected and protected by the government.

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 10
    3

    This is also the work of GOTA THE GOAT, THE BROTHER OF THE SWINDLER TURNED DICTATOR, THE ARCHITECT OF THE ENFORCED DISAPPEARANCES IN SRI LANKA.

    THIS IS THE SAME MORON WHO TOOK INTO CUSTODY RECENTLY SOME MUSLIM YOUTHS WHO PURPORTED TO HAVE CIRCULATED SOME TEXT MESSAGES AGAINST HIS MURDEROUS THUGS.

    NOTHING HAPPENS IN THE MIRACLE OF THE FOOLS WITHOUT THE KNOWLEDGE AND TACIT APPROVAL OF THE MURDEROUS REGIME AND THE MERCENARY, THE DEFENCE SECRETARY.

    Such is the state of affairs under this murderous regime, that the people cannot even mourn the disappearance of their loved ones.

    We truly are a miracle of fools voting these swindlers and murderers into power.

    • 2
      1

      Ansar and Sri Lankan writers,

      RE: Mass Poster Campaign Launched Against Commemoration Of Enforced Disappearances In Sri Lanka

      “Human Rights organisations condemn a poster which has been exhibited in Sri Lanka attacking the enforced disappearances commemoration as a work of “dollar crows”. ”This attack, by way of publicly exhibiting the posters of those concerned with the plight of their fellow men and women and labeling them as “dollar crows”, needs to be condemned as a barbaric attack. Attacking the commemoration of the dead is an attack on civilization itself.” said the Asian Human Rights Commission in a statement today.”

      Where are the Sri Lankan Authors of Common Sense Phamplet and poster for common sense in Sri Lanka?

      What is the Problem? low I.Q. of Sri Lankans compared to American of 1776, like Thomas Paine?

      Common Sense (pamphlet)

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Sense_(pamphlet)

      Common Sense[1] is a pamphlet written by Thomas Paine in 1775–76 that inspired people in the Thirteen Colonies to declare and fight for independence from Great Britain in the summer of 1776. In clear, simple language it explained the advantages of and the need for immediate independence. It was published anonymously on January 10, 1776, at the beginning of the American Revolution and became an immediate sensation. It was sold and distributed widely and read aloud at taverns and meeting places. Washington had it read to all his troops, which at the time had surrounded the British army in Boston. In proportion to the population of the colonies at that time (2.5 million), it had the largest sale and circulation of any book published in American history.[2]

      Common Sense presented the American colonists with an argument for freedom from British rule at a time when the question of whether or not to seek independence was the central issue of the day. Paine wrote and reasoned in a style that common people understood. Forgoing the philosophical and Latin references used by Enlightenment era writers, he structured Common Sense as if it were a sermon, and relied on Biblical references to make his case to the people.[3] He connected independence with common dissenting Protestant beliefs as a means to present a distinctly American political identity.[4] Historian Gordon S. Wood described Common Sense as “the most incendiary and popular pamphlet of the entire revolutionary era”.[5]

  • 4
    4

    When the ruler is so omnipotent, omnipresent and almighty as is happening in SL, how can murders, disappearances take place unnoticed? How can state money go missing in such a massive scale. My appeal is…PEOPLE JUST WAKE UP FROM THE SLUMBER,THIS COUNTRY IS BELONG TO EVERYBODY. LOVE IT AND CARE FOR IT! Having that amongst the thoughts in your mind itself will be enough to put our lives as a nation in to a meaningful direction.

    That is why;
    Maha Nayaka Theros, Sobhitha THero, Relious Leaders + Messrs Ranil + Anura + SF + Karu + Sampanthan + Hakim + Mangala + Nimal + Maithree + Ravi + Tissa + Harin + Sajith ….+++++ of course the former president and many other thousands of true patriotic intellectuals and scholars from all communities are joining in hands to protect the people and their future and to chase this idiot into the sea as food for fish in the Indian Ocean

  • 5
    0

    There have been many disappearences after arrests under the PTA – no reasons are given for the arrests, nor where those arrested are/were taken.
    Ours is a wonderful Land of Disappeared – unique among nations.

    Only our “Disappearences Czar” Gotabaya knows where the disappeared – if they are still alive – exist.

    Commemoration of the dead and disappeared has been made a ‘crime’ in sri lanka.

  • 4
    0

    Can one think of anyone other than the perpetrators of these disappearances to be responsible for this. Gota was and is largely responsible for the disappearances since his brother took office and I have no doubt he is the man responsible for this mass poster campaign.

    How long does he think he is he is going to be able to prevent the truth about his and his brother’s involvement in the crimes against humanity coming out?

  • 2
    6

    Of course the Asian Human Rights Commission has a vested interest in this issue being one of the ‘dollar crows’ referred to.

  • 2
    0

    Amarasiri,

    Thanks for your concern to extricate the ordinary Sri Lankans from the plight facing them from the MURDEROUS MARA REGIME.

    As I mentioned in my earlier comment, even circulating a text message depicting the fate of Muslims among the Muslim community was traced by these MURDEROUS REGIME and arrested and threatened with life.

    The common sense pamphlet also will be dealt by these MURDERERS in the like manner and the printing press will be set on fire and the owner’s whole family will be taken off the face of the earth by these savage beasts.

    It is the case of, who will bell the cat. The only option available under the circumstances is the common opposition who should take up this matter and do it in a big scale, so that no individual or a particular organization will be trailed by these murderers.

    Please add in your comments.

  • 1
    1

    Ansar, you must feel so relieved that you can rely on the AHRC to write a statement on the issue from the safety of their offices in Hong Kong.

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 200 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically disabled after 5 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.