Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Another Minister admits using violence against dissent

In a startling revelation of how the present rulers of Sri Lanka  use violence against any form of dissent,  a Senior Minister has publicly admitted that they used violence against protesting students.
Here is what  the Minister for Higher Education  S.B. Dissanayaka said while speaking at a workshop on Preparing a Strategic Plan for Development of Skills,   held in Colombo on 19th December, 2010.

"We assaulted the protesting students at the Dehiwala Higher Technical Institute and chased them away leaving them only with their underwear and,  in Peradeniya, we stripped the fasting students naked and chased them away.  It took only four minutes to  slap two or three on their ears and chase them.  They ran along the street in their underwear around 8 p.m.” ……..  “In Peradeniya …… there was a  big fast. We went (there) around at 3 a.m.  ………. We stripped them naked and chased them away.”

This is the stark reality of what happens to persons who dare to protest against any move of the government.  That is the state of the rule of law in Sri Lanka today.  Politicians are not only  taking the law unto their hands but are publicly boasting  of their ability to use violent  methods to suppress dissent.

The right to peaceful protest is guaranteed in any democracy but in Sri Lanka today this fundamental right is violated at every turn.  It was just two weeks ago that two other Ministers openly endorsed  assault on dissenting politicians and journalists.

The assault on students comes in the wake of the proposed privatizations of university education in Sri Lanka.  The student community has been in the forefront of defending free education  which is a right guaranteed by the Convention on Social, Economic and Cultural Rights.

NfR condemns the action of the Minister of  Higher Education in the strongest terms possible and urges all politicians to respect the rule of law in the country and practice democratic tolerance  in resolving peoples grievances which sometimes manifests in the form of protests.

Issued by
Executive committee
NfR – Sri Lanka
C/O, 19447, Victory Blvd,#2, Reseda,CA 91335, USA

Steering committee : Iqbal MCM ( The Netherlands),Kshama Ranawana ( Canada) Lionel Bopage ( Australia), Nadarasa Sarawanan (Norway), Nadarajah Kuruparan(UK) Padmi Liyanage (Germany), Raveendran Pradeepan (France), Rudhramoorthy Cheran (Canada), Saman Wagaarachchi ( USA), Sunanda Deshapriya ( Switzerland)

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