South Asia

New government must make human rights a priority, says Amnesty

Sri Lanka’s new government must urgently address a legacy of pressing human rights issues left by the previous administration, Amnesty International said.

“Although the campaign was marked by intimidation and attacks primarily against opposition campaigners, it was heartening to see the election day passed largely without violence. This is to the credit of the thousands of courageous election observers who ensured that all Sri Lankans were able to enjoy their right to political participation without fear,” said David Griffiths, Amnesty International’s Deputy Asia Pacific Director through a media release.

“The new government now has an opportunity to usher in a new era of genuine respect for human rights – it is one that must not be missed,” he added.

The release highlights seven key issues the new administration must make a priority. These include the repeal of the 18th constitutional amendment, “which undermines judicial independence and other human rights safeguards by placing key state institutions into the hands of the President,” and the repressive Prevention of Terrorism Act, which grants security forces sweeping powers to violate human rights.

“Sri Lanka has for years resisted all international efforts to investigate the conflict years, and instead relied on domestic investigation bodies that toed the government line. This has to end – the new government should cooperate fully with the UN investigation,” Mr. Griffiths.

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Printable version | Jul 31, 2021 10:24:03 AM |

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