The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) statement on the disruption of the gathering of families whose loved ones had disappeared during the war, has cleared any doubts concerning the government’s involvement with the mob that intimidated the aggrieved families, legal practitioners have said in a statement.
In a joint statement issued by the Lawyers Collective – Lal Wijenayake, JC Weliamuna and Chandrapala Kumarage, it has been pointed out the MEA’s take on hastily recognizing the mob that has identified themselves as the ‘Dead and Missing Persons’ Parents’ Front’ – an organization that was unheard of until the incident earlier this week, has made it evident that the intimidation carried out by this group was done under the influence of the Rajapaksa-regime.
The statement has heavily criticized the factual errors contained in the MEA statement, particularly their attempt to imply that the tense situation at the meeting held at the Center for Society and Religion located within the premises of a Catholic Church, was a result of two groups in an argument.
“The MEA falsely states the mob sought access to the meeting to express their grievances and it was that argument that led to the tensions when it was clear to all concerned that tensions arose due to the illegal invasion of private property and a private meeting, by the mob,” the statement notes.
While requesting the public to not be mislead by the inaccurate content of the MEA statement, the legal practitioners have pointed out that it is interesting as to how the MEA has avoided offering any explanations on why the law enforcement authorities failed to implemented the law against violators of criminal law or why they refused to provide protection to the intimidated victims while demanding a cancellation of the meeting.
“The statement is a continuation of whitewashing of the disruption of peaceful meetings in the country in violation of freedom of association,” the Lawyers Collective has remarked.
Further rejecting and criticizing the MEA statement, the legal practitioners have added that it is not the diplomatic community as the MEA alleges that has resulted in perpetuating mistrust among communities in Sri Lanka but the intolerance of dissent and cultivation of extremism on the part of the government.
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