JDS: State sponsored brutality against opposition

[TamilNet, Monday, 13 December 2010, 14:43 GMT]
Noting that "State sponsored violence against dissenting voices in Sri Lanka" is on the increase, Journalist for Democracy in Sri Lanka (JDS), an exciled group of Sri Lankan journalists, said in a press release issued Sunday that JDS unreservedly condemned attacks on journalists who "went to cover the arrival of the Nava Sama Samaja Party (NSSP) General Secretary, Dr. Vickramabahu Karunaratne, from the United Kingdom," and called upon "all forces both within Sri Lanka and abroad who cherish freedom and democracy to do what they can to stop this extremely dangerous trend that threatens democracy."

Full text of the release follows:

Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka (JDS) unreservedly condemns the attack on journalists and political activists at Colombo International Airport on the 07th of December as the latest state sponsored violence against dissenting voices in Sri Lanka.

While the police looked on passively, a mob assaulted the MTV / Sirarsa Katunayaka correspondent, Prema Lal, and Lankaenews journalist, Shantha Wijesuriya, as they went to cover the arrival of the Nava Sama Samaja Party (NSSP) General Secretary, Dr. Vickramabahu Karunaratne, from the United Kingdom. Members of the NSSP, rights activists and trade unionists were at the airport to welcome Dr. Karunaratne, who had publically expressed his opposition to the government and the war against the Tamil Tigers.

Although Dr.Karunaratne’s views expressed in the UK were almost completely censored at home in the Sri Lankan media, the Rajapaksa government used the state media and government ministers to incite racial hatred against him and opposition MP, Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena. Dr. Jayawardena was assaulted in the parliament by senior government ministers, while supporters of a deputy minister launched a premeditated attack at the airport. The government has already made it clear that it is going to prosecute Dr. Karunaratne for what it calls 'bringing disrepute to the nation'. It is probable that the rule of law will not be applied to those employed for violence by a government minister. Ironically this latest attack took place, soon after Sri Lankan officials, including the Sri Lanka external affairs minister GL Peiris, invoked the concept of freedom of expression while responding to the Oxford Union’s cancellation of President Rajapaksa's speech.

This attack at the airport is a clear demonstration of the Rajapaksa regime’s unhindered war against freedom of expression, that particularly targets those who stand up for the rights of Tamils who are now marginalised from the decision making processes. More than a year and a half since the Sri Lankan military’s victory over the Tamil Tigers, JDS believes the government has once again demonstrated its unwillingness to tolerate dissent or grant rights to the country’s minorities.

Therefore, we call upon all forces both within Sri Lanka and abroad who cherish freedom and democracy to do what they can to stop this extremely dangerous trend that threatens democracy.

 

Latest 15 Reports
23.03.21 12:41   Photo
No focus on Tamil genocide, geopolitics gets played out in Geneva in favour of QUAD formation
21.03.21 13:34   Photo
Navi Pillay explains ‘human rights’ limitations in Geneva on Tamil genocide
15.03.21 20:36   Photo
Deceived Tamil activists in UK falsely claimed ‘substantial changes’ to Zero draft
09.03.21 21:34   Photo
UK repeatedly wronged Tamils says hunger-striker, demands genocide justice
26.02.21 11:53   Photo
Tamils witness false dilemma in Geneva as geopolitical formations pit against each other
19.02.21 14:02   Photo
UK not prepared to push for ICC option in new UNHRC Resolution
07.02.21 23:16   Photo
Unprecedented P2P uprising paves the way for rights-oriented politics of Tamils and Muslims
22.01.21 08:01   Photo
Gotabaya sets up deceptive COI citing ‘sovereignty’ and ‘non-aligned’ foreign policy
18.01.21 23:44   Photo
Tamil activists resisted three sources of outside influence while drafting demands to UNHRC
16.01.21 11:03  
Tamil national parties demand UN to inquire into crime of genocide and set up IIIM
09.01.21 09:37   Photo
Demolition of Tamil genocide monument, fourth emblematic trauma since 1974: Rev Fr Sakthivel
08.01.21 23:51   Photo
Colombo destroys Mu'l'livaaykkaal memorial monument at Jaffna University
07.01.21 11:22   Photo
With emphasis on genocide, Suresh calls for ICC-referral, IIIM and referendum
07.01.21 00:04   Photo
Boyle prefers IIIM demand over ICC-referral, says specific reference to genocide essential
06.01.21 14:26  
Indian Minister of External Affairs Jaishankar trades off Tamils’ sovereign rights
 
Find this article at:
http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=33214