SLFP dissidents urge Colombo to prevent Rights abuses

[TamilNet, Friday, 16 February 2007, 04:19 GMT]
Former Sri Lanka's Foreign minister, Mangala Samaraweera, and former Port Development Minister, Sripathi Sooriyaarachchi, on Thursday accused the Mahinda Rajapakse government of alleged human rights violations, and warned that Sri Lanka faced international isolation unless steps were taken to stem the tide of disappearances and extra judicial killings, sources in Colombo said. Addressing a press conference at the Parliamentary complex, Mr. Samaraweera said his concern about the growing human rights violations in Sri Lanka was one of the main reasons that he was sacked by Mr Rajapakse.



PDF IconEnglish translation of Samaraweera letter
Press Conference
Need to curb violations of human rights was central to the ten issues Mr.Samaraweera urged action in a letter sent to president Mahinda Rajapakse Thursday evening.

Mr. Samaraweera said his and his colleagues actions were not meant for personal gain but to stop Sri Lanka sliding towards tyranny.

He said that their aim is to stop the Government from moving away from the middle path of the SLFP, and towards extremist policies.

Some of the points raised in the letter follow:

  • To create programme to look into the grievances of those who helped bring the President to power. The government is today run by 3 persons but those who worked for the President’s victory is ignored.
  • Reduce Cabinet size to 35
  • Restore all the departments and institutions that were under different ministries which have now been taken over by the President.
  • Improve relations with India and other friendly nations by taking immediate steps.
  • Human rights and media freedom must be restored
  • Find a political solution to the national problem and submit proposals in two months.
  • Allow the business community to operate without restrictions and fear
  • Take steps to bring down the Cost of Living
  • Fight bribery, corruption and waste.
  • Restore good relations with the JVP and get their support and improve relations with the UNP.
Parliamentarian Mano Ganesan, a member of the Civil Monitoring Commission, a Colombo-based organization that has been agitating for investigations into abductions and killings, said that about 50 people have been abducted in Colombo, and 12 have been killed.

Majority of those abducted and killed are Tamils.


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