Rights group says Sri Lanka harassed, intimidated protesters

- onlanka.com

Human Rights Watch

An international human rights group says Sri Lanka’s government is using emergency laws to harass and arbitrarily detain protesters who are seeking political reform and accountability amid the island country’s economic crisis.

New York-based Human Rights Watch said in a statement Wednesday that Sri Lanka’s military sought to curtail protests through intimidation, surveillance, and arbitrary arrests of demonstrators, activists, lawyers and journalists since President Ranil Wickremesinghe took office last month.

Sri Lanka’s Parliament approved a state of emergency July 27. The decree gives the president the power to make regulations in the interest of public security and order.

Wickremesinghe, who had ordered arrests of protesters, has said that although the protests started peacefully, groups with political interests took over later and became violent, citing the burning of dozens of ruling party politicians’ homes in May.

Sri Lankans had been protesting for months over the country’s economic crisis that has led to a severe shortage of many essential imported items like medicines, fuel and cooking gas. Wickremesinghe’s predecessor Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled the country after protesters stormed his official residence and also occupied many key state buildings including the president’s office, prime minister’s office and the prime minister’s official residence. Wickremesinghe was elected by Parliament to complete Rajapaksa’s term, which ends in 2024.

In a speech to Parliament on Wednesday, Wickremesinghe promised leniency for those who took to violence unknowingly or at the instigation of others. He also promised to punish those who broke laws willfully.

Some of those arrested are accused of clashing with security forces and encouraging people to break into Parliament. Officials have also seized the passport of a British woman who posted about the protests on social media.

“The Sri Lankan government’s crackdown on peaceful dissent appears to be a misguided and unlawful attempt to divert attention from the need to address the country’s urgent economic crisis,” said Meenakshi Ganguly, Human Rights Watch’s South Asia director.

Sri Lanka is bankrupt, having announced that it is suspending repayment of its foreign loans pending the outcome of talks with the International Monetary Fund for a rescue package.

“Sri Lanka’s international partners should be clear that they need to be working with a rights-respecting administration to address Sri Lanka’s deeply rooted economic problems,” Ganguly said.

(AP)

The post Rights group says Sri Lanka harassed, intimidated protesters appeared first on ONLANKA News :. Sri Lanka Breaking News Updates - Latest News in Sri Lanka.

You may also like

- onlanka.com

The Paris Club Creditors have provided the required financing assurances to support the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) approval for the Extended Fund Facility for Sri Lanka.The post Paris Club Creditors provides financing assurances to support IMF bailout for Sri Lanka appeared first on Sri Lanka News - Latest Breaking News in Sri Lanka - ONLANKA News.

- colombogazette.com

India is seen as the biggest friend of Sri Lanka in a time of crisis, Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena said. Addressing the Tata Tiscon Dealer Convention 2023 in Colombo, Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena called on the Indian companies to invest further in Sri Lanka. Outlining the benefits of Indian investments in Sri Lanka, Prime Minister […]

- colombogazette.com

The Paris Club Creditors have provided financing assurances to support the International Monetary Fund’s approval of an Extended Fund Facility for Sri Lanka, the President’s Media Division said. The Paris Club Creditors announced their decision to provide financing assurances to support the approval by the IMF Executive Board of the envisaged IMF program for Sri […]

- colombogazette.com

A Host Country Agreement was signed between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) progressing Sri Lanka’s climate action and further deepening Sri Lanka’s green growth development. The agreement was signed in the presence of President Ranil Wickremesinghe and Former Secretary General of the UN and the President of the […]

- colombogazette.com

The Vedda community has decided to contest the elections as an independent group. Vedda chief Uruwarige Wannila Aththo said that they will not join hands with any political party. Instead, the community will contest as an independent group. Uruwarige Wannila Aththo said that they hope to set an example to existing political parties. (Colombo Gazette)

- colombogazette.com

The US Embassy has issued a demonstration alert for visitors in Colombo tomorrow. The Embassy said that it is aware of planned demonstrations tomorrow (February 8), which may make travel around Colombo more difficult or result in road closures. The Embassy said that the National Buddhist Monks Front plans to protest at Victoria Park at […]

Entertainment:View All

Technology:View All

Local News

Local News

Sri Lanka News

@2022 - All Right Reserved. Designed and Developed by Rev-Creations, Inc