Sri Lanka: Eradication of anti Muslim violence needs deeds instead of words

Networking for Rights cautiously welcomes  President Mahinda Rajapakse’s   recent statement  that his government will not tolerate racism and religious intolerance.

According to a report in The Hindu newspaper of March 31 this statement had been made by him  at a religious gathering in Werehena.  He had added   “This is a democratic country with non-Buddhists having equal rights and freedoms. While we safeguard the rights of Buddhists, it is the responsibility of the Buddhists to be exemplary and protect the rights of others.” Continue reading

Sri Lanka: Police and Military Block Family Members of Disappeared Heading to UN in Colombo: UN should act

NfR, a network of Sri Lankan journalists and human rights defenders, expresses its strongest indignation to the Government of Sri Lanka for its dastardly act of blocking Tamil civilians travelling to Colombo to demand justice for the disappeared. Police has used their trucks to block the buses they were travelling with.

 On 5th March 2013 the family members, who were travelling to Colombo to participate in a protest campaign and to hand over a petition to UN regarding their disappeared relatives, were blocked in Vavuniya by a joint operation of the police and the military. This is a clear attempt to create a fear-psychosis among the Tamil people demanding accountability and justice for the disappeared. Continue reading

NfR Sri Lanka expresses deep concern on the threats to Sri Lankan human rights lawyer Lakshan Dias and calls for show of solidarity

NfR Sri Lanka, a net work of Sri Lankan journalists and Human Rights Defenders expresses its deep concerns on the reported Threats and intimidations directed at Sri Lankan human rights lawyer Lakshan Dias.

 Mr. Lakshan Dias is a well known human rights activist with a long standing experience in promoting and protecting all human rights for all.

 A formal complaint was lodged on these threatening developments at the Moratuwa Police (Colombo district) under reference no. CIB-1- 232/442 on 25th Feb. 2013. Updates of further incidents were also communicated to the Police. The number of the motorcycle has also been communicated to the Police. Action taken by the Police is not known. Continue reading

Sri Lanka: NfR’s calls for a serious investigation into the discovery of a mass grave in the Matale District of Sri Lanka.

13.02.2013
NfR Sri Lanka, a net work of Sri Lankan journalists and human rights defenders,  views the discovery of a mass grave in Matale in the  Central Province of Sri Lanka   should lead  to a renewed  discussion on   violence against political opponents, accountability, truth and reconciliation in Sri Lanka. Finding a mass grave of 200 bodies is a serious matter  that needs special attention.  Continue reading

Sri Lanka: NfR holds the government accountable for any violence that may take place against pro democracy lawyers or independent judges

(NFR’s statement on the need to re-establish the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary following the illegal impeachment of the Chief Justice.)

 NfR Sri Lanka, a net work of Sri Lankan journalists and human rights defenders, believes that the time has come for all Sri Lankans to come together to vehemently denounce the present regime’s moves following the illegal impeachment of the Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranaike, which has negated the power of the judiciary. By such an action the Government has taken away the confidence people had in the judiciary to obtain redress when their rights a violated, and has unleashed terror campaign against all forms of dissent against the Government. Continue reading

Sri Lanka; Newspapers burned in Jaffna; Armed political thugs intimidate peaceful protest in Colombo

NfR, Networking for Rights in SriLanka, a net work of Sri Lankan journalists and Human rights defenders, expressed its strongest condemnation of blatant violations of people’s right to free expression reported form Jaffna and Colombo on today, 10th January 2013.

 In Jaffna Uthayan newspaper came under attack early this morning.  Mr. Nageswaran Piratheepan one of its delivery agent was followed by four ‘unidentified persons’ riding two motor bicycles. Mr. Piratheepan was stopped, beaten with poles, his motorbike and the newspapers were set on fire by them..  Mr. Piratheepan has been admitted to the Jaffna teaching hospital and reports say that one of his arms is broken in the assault. The assault took place at 5.30 AM at Maalu junction Jaffna. Continue reading

Sri Lanka: State security forces obstruct peaceful assembly in Jaffna ; students and journalists assaulted and arrested

 

Press release/ 31 Nov 2012

  NfR Sri Lanka, a net work of journalists and human rights defenders, dismayed and shocked that once again the Government of Sri Lanka has unleashed state terror on students and journalists in Jaffna in flagrant violation of peoples right to peaceful assembly, an universal right enjoyed by people in the democratic world. This is an assault on freedom of expression rights as well.

 This brutal assault took place on 27th Nov 2012 in Jaffna when University students led remembrance was being held. Number of students was injured as a result, editor of the Jaffna based best selling news paper Uthayan was manhandled by the military and photographers were forced to delete the pictures of military and police brutality. Among the journalists assaulted are staff of another Jaffna based newspaper, Valampuri and students of the journalism training centre, Jaffna. Continue reading

Sri Lanka: Open and blatant violation of media independence by the President himself

Press release/ 29 Nov 2012/

NfR is shocked and dismayed to hear that the chairperson of the state controlled TV station, the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLRC) has been appointed as the official media spokesperson of President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

The Official web site of the GoSL carried a news item confirming the appointment; ‘Mohan Samaranayake has been appointed as the new Media Spokesman to the President in addition to his post as the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation.’ the President’s Media Division (PMD) said.

This is an act heard of even in countries where an open dictatorship prevails. Such despotic rulers at least try to give a semblance of respect for the rights of the people to the freedom of expression as a tactic to deceive their subjects. Continue reading

Impeachment motion: Attempt to wrest complete control and consolidate all power within the family

Press release/ 07 Nov 2012

 Networking for Rights, a net work of journalists and human rights defenders  considers the Sri Lanka governments move to impeach Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake, as a flagrant expression of political interference in the judicial system and a  final step towards destroying the flicker of democracy that still remains in the country.

  This is not an issue about an individual but rather about the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary.

 If the Chief Justice must be impeached, then her errors and omissions should be investigated through a well defined process. There must be public debate before the government rushes to impeach her; simply because the Executive is displeased with the manner she interprets the law. Continue reading

Open appeal to Human Rights Council: At UPR – Sri Lanka prevail upon Sri Lanka not to dismantle the 13 amendment and provide speedy political solution

An open appeal to the UN HRC in connection with the Universal Periodic Review in November, 2012  on Sri Lanka urging  it  to  prevail  upon Sri Lanka to stop the dismantling  the devolution of powers that have been conferred on the Provincial Councils by the provisions of the  13th Amendment to the Constitution.
 

NfR Sri Lanka, a net work of journalists and human rights defenders,  makes this urgent and open appeal to the members of UN Human Rights Council in the context of the up coming second session  of the Universal Periodic Review. The human rights situation of Sri Lanka is to be reviewed during this session commencing on  1st November 2012.  Continue reading

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