BY AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL INDIA TEAM
Demand truth from Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa. As Sri Lanka gears up to host a meeting of Commonwealth leaders in November, it’s time for the government to come clean about torture, unlawful detention and the countless other abuses that continue to plague the island unchecked — and stop them.
We recall the values and principles which all Commonwealth countries have committed to. These include: the protection and promotion of human rights, freedom of expression and access to justice.
In line with these values and principles, we call on you to demonstrate before November that progress is being made to stop the systematic violation of human rights in Sri Lanka.
We ask you to:
- Repeal the Prevention of Terrorism Act, and abolish administrative detention
- Release all those arrested under emergency or anti-terrorism laws, unless they are charged with a recognizable criminal offence
- Guarantee access to a lawyer for anyone arrested
- Establish and make public a comprehensive registry of all detainees including the date and place of arrest, detaining authority, place of detention, (including all transfers) and whether the detainee has been charged with an offence or released.
- Publish the 2006 Commission of Inquiry report on 16 “serious violations of human rights” – including the case of five students killed in Trincomalee, and accept international help to resolve outstanding cases
- Enact an effective Witness Protection bill
If Sri Lanka is to be a credible member of the Commonwealth, it needs to fully respect Commonwealth values at home. This is your chance to show the world that the government is telling the truth and making every effort to improve human rights in Sri Lanka.