Activists call on diplomatic missions to pressure Govt to release student union leaders incarcerated under PTA

Wednesday, 16 November 2022 00:03 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

A group of Sri Lankan human rights activists yesterday handed over a letter to several diplomatic missions calling on them to intervene in getting the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act abolished and to also secure the release of student union leaders Wasantha Mudalige and Galwewa Siridhamma Thera, who is currently detained under the PTA. They also requested the embassies to call on the Sri Lankan Government to stop acts of repression against peaceful protests. 

In the letter, the activists noted that Mudalige and Siridhamma Thera are being held under inhumane detention conditions, which are unsanitary, and unsafe and have impacted their health. “We call on the international community to ensure an end to this targeted persecution of student leaders and activists, and that there be no extension to their 90-day detention order under the PTA,” they said. 

“Sri Lankan authorities have responded to peaceful protests and legitimate demands for a responsible and accountable Government, through violence and legal reprisals. We are concerned by the systematic use of force to disperse and punish protesters, and legal persecution, including arbitrary arrest and detention as a form of reprisal. 

We are especially alarmed by the use of anti-terror law – the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) against protesters, despite assurances to the international community of a moratorium on its use.” the group added.  The group engaged in a silent protest opposite the UN compound in Colombo and later handed over a letter to a UN representative.

 The group then proceeded to the Norwegian Embassy in Colombo, the EU office in Colombo, the British High Commission in Colombo, the US Embassy in Colombo, and the Canadian High Commission.

The group thereafter attempted to hand over a letter to the Indian High Commission in Colombo but failed. 


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