CPA Executive Director receives death threat

[TamilNet, Thursday, 20 August 2009, 15:34 GMT]
The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) said in a statement that its Executive Director Dr.Pakiasothy Saravanamuthu had received anonymous death threat written in English language and posted to his residence Thursday morning. According to the contents of the letter, Dr. Saravanamuthu will be killed because Sri Lanka stands to be deprived of the European Union’s GSP Plus benefits in October, with resultant job losses, due to information supplied by Dr. Saravanamuthu to Ms. Benita Ferrero-Waldner, the EU’s Commissioner for External Relations.

CPA said it unreservedly deplores this despicable attempt at causing fear through the use of threats of physical harm, and through such acts, to stifle free expression, dissent and debate.

CPA says it is equally concerned over the increasing emasculation of the civil society space for the discussion of public policy choices.

“It is contemptible that CPA’s position, held consistently and publicly with regard to the policy and legal issues involved in the extension of the GSP Plus scheme has been distorted so as to contrive a rationale for this letter. CPA has consistently argued that the GSP Plus benefits MUST be renewed, and that Sri Lanka should use the opportunity to also strengthen its human rights protection framework by complying with international law. We regret that our constructive contribution to this public policy debate has been perversely distorted and deliberately misunderstood in some quarter,” the CPA statement said.

Dr. Saravanamuthu and the CPA will be lodging complaints with the relevant authorities for speedy investigation and necessary remedial action in this matter, the statement added.


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