17 June, 2021

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We Need International Solidarity And Protection

By Nimalka Fernando –

Nimalka Fernando

Nimalka Fernando

We welcome the statement made by the High Commissioner Zeid. We wish to reiterate the need to provide effective protection to all human rights defenders all over the world and strengthen protection mechanisms for those cooperating with the UN, especially with this Council and other mechanisms including the Commissions of Inquiry.  It is unfortunate that the Government of Sri Lanka has refused to co-operate with the OHCHR investigation, and is determined to unleash a fear of possible detention and prosecution of those wishing to give evidence before this mechanism. The Government-controlled media and political leaders of the ruling party are the main sources for carrying out these threats.

Freedom of association, assembly and expression have been further threatened with the letter addressed to all NGOs issued by the Director/Registrar of the National Secretariat for Non Governmental Organisations on the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development letterhead. The main part of this letter focuses on ‘Non-Governmental Organisations acting beyond their mandate’ with emphasis on

It has been revealed that certain Non Governmental Organizations conduct press conferences, workshops, training for journalists and dissemination of press releases which is beyond their mandate. We reiterate that all Non Governmental Organizations should prevent from such unauthorized activities with immediate effect”.

This circular attempts to divide activities of NGOs as some authorised and others unauthorised. Those unauthorised will face the consequence of being ‘dis-mantled’. The purpose of the Sri Lankan authorities has been made very clear that it will attack, dismantle and demolish NGOs which are urging the Government to uphold democratic principles, respect the rule of law, investigate into the disappearances, inquire into alleged crimes committed during the war as well as into grave and serious violations of the international human rights and humanitarian laws and continuing violations. The Government of Sri Lanka has categorised democracy, human rights and independence of judiciary as anti-government terminology. The present rulers of Sri Lanka are thinking that NGOs can be bulldozed into oblivion.

Three months have lapsed with no investigation into the Aluthgama incident where the Muslim community was attacked by the extremist Buddhist Organisation, Bodu Bala Sena (BBS). The riot was pre-planned. The peaceful co-existence of religious communities in Sri Lanka is being threatened without any action taken against the BBS by the regime. The convergence of political power, extremist Buddhists’ violence and security agencies in pressuring religious minorities and imposing Sinhala Buddhist hegemony have become permanent features of post-war Sri Lanka. This is threatening all attempts made by civil society organisations to promote reconciliation and dialogue transcending ethnic, religious and other such community barriers. Family members of the disappeared and organisatons working with them face intimidations and harassments regularly from the intelligence apparatus of the Sri Lankan state.

We condemn the detention and deportation of Pakistan asylum seekers in Sri Lanka by the authorities and urge GOSL to corporate with the UNHRC in keeping with it’s international obligations.

The vision and mission statements of all NGOs operating in Sri Lanka are broadly defined based on the principles of various UN Conventions and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Government of Sri Lanka and its NGO Secretariat are denying us space to promote these fundamental principles accepted and endorsed by the international community.

We seek international solidarity and protection for all human rights defenders, lawyers, media personnel and civil society organisations who are facing threats for resisting authoritarianism in Sri Lanka and working to give effect to the resolutions on Sri Lanka adopted by the HRC in 2012, 2013 and 2014 to promote reconciliation and human rights.

Thank you Mr President.

*Nimalka Fernando made the statement above at the UNHRC
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Latest comments

  • 9
    0

    It is about time we rediscover our lost Democratic Sri Lanka and rid the Country of Terror and chase away the crazy lunatics destroying it.

    • 6
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      Namal, may I make a change to your comment. The words “chase away” should be replaced by the word “destroy”.

      • 2
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        This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

        • 0
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          Balu Kela Kollo, how many times do I have to tell you that half dog half human monstrosities are not permitted to comment in CT columns?

          Go bark at the moon before it wanes too much.

          • 0
            0

            stupid navin, you’re showcasing your stupidity

  • 1
    2

    Did this Dr Nirmali, plead for protection from her bosses, the UNHCR and the West for 70 % Sinhala and 10 % Muslim inhabitants , their children and grand parents whose lives in grave danger let alone threats?..

    And these innocents didn’t criticize anyone …..

  • 1
    5

    “The Government of Sri Lanka has categorised democracy, human rights and independence of judiciary as anti-government terminology.”

    Are we to believe that Sri Lankan journalists are not allowed to write anything about these subjects?

    Sri Lanka has been adversely affected by anti-Sri Lankan (not just anti-government) propaganda by the international bodies controlling certain NGOs for a long time. This propaganda focuses exclusively on negative things about the island, and its people. The Sinhalese Buddhists have come under fire in particular, pointing at certain fundamentalist Buddhist organizations, but never mentioning the positive aspects and influence of Buddhism in the country. Nimalka Fernando’s criticism of the activities of Buddhist groups needs to be seen from the perspective that she is a self-declared Christian (who also says she follows the ideology of Lenin).

    The efforts of the government to reign in the NGOs was accompanied by direct approaches by the Defence Secretary to the NGOs, inviting them to discuss their concerns with him directly rather than “internationalise” the problems. He’s understandably concerned about bad press. This is in the context of a well-organized propaganda campaign against Sri Lanka led by the “Boycott Sri Lanka” campaign which is supported by the British Tamil Forum and a small number of other expatriate Tamil groups. This group represents a minority of Tamils, but the damage they are doing to Sri Lanka is considerable, since they are urging a total global boycott of all things Sri Lankan – tea, food, clothes and, especially, tourism.

    https://www.facebook.com/boycottsrilankanow

    This campaign is making spurious claims of ongoing genocide of Tamil people, and urging an international investigation of the government’s crimes but not those of the Tigers. I personally think that there should be an international investigation into GLOBAL disappearances over the last 50 years, at least. The investigation into war crimes in Sri Lanka should go back to the beginning of armed conflict in the early 1970s. But if it investigates war crimes globally from 1970 the UN will find its investigation dominated by the Vietnam War and conflicts outside Sri Lanka.

    I think there should be an internal investigation in Sri Lanka into all the disappeared people, and prosecutions of law-breakers regardless of race, religion or political affiliation. In Sri Lankan courts.

    • 0
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      Hi Dr Romesh Senewiratne-Alagaratnam are you on this planet earth! or an alien having both Sinhala and Tamil name; wish to plead on behalf of the Srilankan state and its goons? Why try to safeguard or try to cover up all the misdemeanour and felony that had been committed by the state and the majority community on the minorities? Can’t you see that the sequence that followed after independence is base on the Mahavamsa mind set? From DS then SWRD and now MR are continuing with this Mind set. Annihilate, assimilate or force migrate to establish a Sinhala Buddhist state. Why do you think MR has not fulfilled the promises he made to UNSG Ban in May 2009,and since the end of war, on many occasions his promises to resolve the ethnic problem to the FM,&PM of India. 13th amendment and willing to give 13+ to Tamils are just a sham.
      Nimalka has only expressed the daily happenings after the war in 2009. can you dispute these facts?
      Finally quoting your last para;”I think there should be an internal investigation in Sri Lanka into all the disappeared people, and prosecutions of law-breakers regardless of race, religion or political affiliation. In Sri Lankan courts”. How could an internal investigation be done by the people who had and are committing the crimes against humanity? None of the institutions are functioning independently Are we all wrong? The police are a bunch of corrupt rogues, AHRC has repeatedly shown various abuses to culpable homicide committed by the police with immunity. Then the present CJ, this man who lied in the UN chambers about a disappeared Journalist. He CJ-M P is a well known stooge of MR, how could you expect an impartial investigation? I will not mention JUSTICE. This is the reason the right thinking people had asked for the UN for an international independent investigation. I think, that investigation should cover from 1956 not from 1970’s. All the “nation busters” should be named and shamed. However, DS and SWRD are no more that leaves only MR and his clan whom are still committing Human right abuses. Don’t you question your conscience, before you write?

      • 1
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        Hi Waran,

        I have no desire or authority to “plead” on behalf of the Sri Lankan state. I criticise the Sri Lankan government when I think it warranted and support it at other times. I treat the Australian government likewise, though I have more criticism for the Australian government than for that of Sri Lanka. maybe because I live in Australia and not Sri Lanka and am aware of the human rights abuses that go on in this country.

        I use both my parents surnames because I choose to wear a name that reflects both my Sinhalese and Tamil ancestry. I also like the meaning of the name Alagaratnam (beautiful jewel) more so than Senewiratne (meaning jewel of the army). I was also close to my grandfather, Winslow Alagaratnam, whom I admire and respect.

        Regarding the “Mahavamsa mind-set”, my view is that the Mahavamsa is full of myth and legend, and improbable if not impossible events, but so are other religious and historical writings of the time. This is the case with all religious texts. There is also evidence that there was a built town in Anuradhapura as well as Hindu temples in Sri Lanka (the five ishwarams) that predate the supposed arrival of Vijaya, according to the archaeologist Paul E Pieris. Much remains to be discovered by the archaeologists of the future, no doubt.

        Still, the Mahavamsa contains valuable historical information regarding the kings of Sri Lanka, noting that it was written from the perspective of the Mahavihara monks. It glorifies the exploits of kings who supported the Mahavihara and criticises the kings who didn’t. The fact is there are many Buddhists who take what is in the Mahavamsa with a pinch of salt.

    • 0
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      A psychiatrist, who has the alibi being married to a “Tamil” give the rights to cook a political sambar, we can start from european invasion in North America.
      Darling, this is not your counseling. This is HR in 2014

  • 0
    2

    A diatribe from enemy within simply re-enforces the appreciation for the strong leadership Sri Lanka has in place. The liberation of the nation from the murderous terrorists brings out the vermin from the woodwork. There is no contradiction being a christian and patriotic Sri Lankan; the writer needs to do a little soul searching and reset priorities.

  • 1
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    lal loo

    “A diatribe from enemy within simply re-enforces the appreciation for the strong leadership Sri Lanka has in place.”

    The Germans welcomed and appreciated Hitler and his party. Look what had happened to the people during after the war

    • 1
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      Look at Germany after the war? Ha ha ha.

      They are doing fine thank you. THey are the only economically viable country in Europe, out of all former blood suckers.

      Hitler’s only problem was he didn’t finish the job. If he did, we wouldn’t have been burdened with discarded European scum tryingto undermine our country from shady B&B hideouts.

      • 1
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        Aththa Neththa

        “THey are the only economically viable country in Europe, out of all former blood suckers.”

        Yes of course they are the only economically viable country now in Europe. Did Hitler build the country after the war had ended?

        Have you heard some thing called Marshall Plan. If you haven’t don’t bother.

        “Hitler’s only problem was he didn’t finish the job.”

        Had he finished the job I wouldn’t be having this useless conversation with a ignorant like you now.

        “we wouldn’t have been burdened with discarded European scum tryingto undermine our country from shady B&B hideouts. “

        You don’t need European scum to undermine you. Actually you have been doing fantastically well despite of them.

  • 0
    0

    In Sri lanka, the govt, media and NGOs are all corrupt.

    They all want to fatten their private bank accounts.

    In ancient Rome, these people would have been crucified irrespective of the gender.

  • 0
    0

    Machang Jim, in ancient Rome you would not crucified, but would be used for their pleasure.Are you a man or woman, that will determine how many use you at one sitting.

  • 1
    0

    Nimalka:

    We need international Protection and Solidarity.

    In Sri Lanka there is two tier international protection 1) Provided by the giant neighbour 2) By the rest of the civilised Countries.

    But the second one is compromised by the first one. Since the end of the Freedom Struggle GOSL was protected by the giant neighbour for fear of bring implicated in the Genocide as they aided and abetted the Genocidal Regime. This was often the reason sighted by the Civilsed Countries. But things are begining to change for us but you are left to fight your own battle as there is no pressure from outside the country where we have a two pronged attack which is brgining to produce results.

    I am surprised you ask the follwing question.

    Three months have lapsed with no investigation into the Aluthgama incident where the Muslim community was attacked by the extremist Buddhist Organisation, Bodu Bala Sena (BBS). The riot was pre-planned.

    ***SLMC are in bed with GOSL and how do you expect justice to be delivered to the Muslims. Even Muslim Countries are doing brisk business with Sinhala Lanka.In our case it has taken 5 years to bring Mahintha to book but the Muslim problem will never be solved.

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