Sri Lanka’s toxic climate of intolerance and fear…

the interpretOr

Sri Lanka, June 2013: intolerance and fear

“…A climate of intolerance and fear continues to sweep the island as the government’s stranglehold on the population grows ever tighter. In March, Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake was impeached after declaring a government bill unconstitutional.

Lawyers working on torture and other human rights cases have been targeted and harassed. Meanwhile, the cases of Kumar, Poddala and the many activists who have disappeared have not been independently or credibly investigated.

Yet the authorities claim that their human rights record has improved – a claim reinforced by their selection as hosts of the November meeting of Commonwealth leaders. It is a whitewash of immense proportions, says Poddala.

“I can’t understand why the Commonwealth has decided to do this,” he told us, “because no civil society organization is allowed to function there. There are no human rights in Sri Lanka.”

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