Finance and Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera said that the Government has the will and determination to face these challenges including gender-based violence, and promoting and protecting human rights for all, while working towards achieving equitable and inclusive economic development.
“Yet, Government alone cannot achieve all this,” he said.
Samaraweera made these comments while attending the Franco-German Human Rights Award Ceremony held at the residence of the German Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Jörn Rohde.
The Franco German Prize for Human Rights and the Rule of Law will be awarded for the second time since its inception. It is granted to persons who show significant engagement in the protection and the promotion of human rights and the rule of law.
The French and the German Embassies in Colombo announced earlier this year that Ms. Shreen Abdul Saroor, a human rights defender specialising on women’s rights and empowerment and engaged in reconciliation work between displaced Muslim and Tamil communities was selected.
“I hope that the work that Shreen has done, and continues to do, will inspire more young people and more men and women to be engaged, and stand up for the rights of all. I wish you the strength to keep doing the great work that you are doing, and to keep on fighting the good fight. I take this opportunity to thank the Governments of France and Germany for their joint initiative to recognise the work of human rights activists. As I understand, 15 persons have been chosen globally this year as winners of this prestigious Franco German Prizefor Human Rights and the Rule of Law,” Samaraweera said.
He noted that being the leading Members in the European Union, Germany and France have become vanguard of universal human values.
He said their active interest encourages others to strengthen efforts in preserving the common universal values at this time of populism and integration. (Colombo Gazette)