Middle East

Rights groups urge Sri Lanka not to use force against peaceful protesters

Hundreds of armed groups attacked a protest camp outside Colombo’s presidential palace and were criticized by international human rights groups.

According to critics, the foreign exchange crisis caused by the pandemic was exacerbated by mismanagement, and Sri Lankans suffered from long-term power outages and record high inflation. (AFP)

International human rights groups have called on the Sri Lankan president to order security forces to stop using force against protesters shortly after troops and police have passed the main camp after months of demonstrations.

The day after President Ranil Wickremesinghe Oath toHundreds of armed forces raided protest camps outside Cheong Wa Dae early on Friday and attacked demonstrators with batons.

Human Rights Watch said the action “sends a dangerous message to the people of Sri Lanka that the new government intends to act by force rather than by the rule of law.”

Two journalists and two lawyers were also attacked in the crackdown. Security forces arrested 11 people, including protesters and lawyers.

“Urgent steps to address Sri Lanka’s economic needs call for a government that respects fundamental rights,” said Minakshi Gangley, director of South Asia at Human Rights Watch, in a statement.

“Sri Lanka’s international partners should send a loud and clear message that they cannot support a government that tramples on the rights of its people.”

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“Right to show peacefully”

“It’s a shame that the new government resorted to such violent tactics within hours of taking power,” he said, blaming the attack.

“Protesters have the right to peaceful demonstrations. Excessive use of force, intimidation, and torts appear to be an endlessly repeated pattern of Sri Lankan authorities disagreeing and responding to peaceful rallies.” Stated.

Wickremesinghe, who previously served as prime minister six times, became president a week after his predecessor Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled the country. Rajapaksa later resigned during his exile in Singapore.

Sri Lankans have been on the streets for months to demand resignation from top leaders to take responsibility for the economic turmoil that left 22 million people in countries suffering from shortages of supplies such as medicines, fuel and food came out.

Protesters have focused on Rajapaksa’s family, but 73-year-old Wickremesinghe was recognized near Rajapaksa.
It also draws out their anger.

Armed troops and police arrived by truck and bus on Friday to clear a major protest camp in the capital, Colombo, but protesters announced they would voluntarily leave the site.

Wickremesinghe declared a state of emergency on behalf of the president on Monday to quell protests.

Only hours after his oath, he issued a notice calling on the military to maintain law and order, paving the way for opposition to protest camps.

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For ordinary Sri Lankans, every day is a fight

Source: TRT World and distributors

https://www.trtworld.com/asia/rights-groups-urge-sri-lanka-not-to-use-force-on-peaceful-protesters-59097?utm_source=other&utm_medium=rss Rights groups urge Sri Lanka not to use force against peaceful protesters

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