The Center for Policy Alternatives (CPA) has strongly condemned the excessive use of force, arbitrary actions, and the blatant disregard for due process in arresting peaceful demonstrators on the eve of the 75th anniversary of Sri Lanka’s independence.

In a statement, the CPA stated that media reports evidenced the manner in which peaceful protesters engaged in “satyagraha,” a form of peaceful protests, were met with force and arrested while they voiced legitimate concerns regarding the waste of public resources amidst the dire economic crisis in the country. Compounding this was the denial of access to their lawyers upon arrest.
The CPA stated it has continuously monitored incidents of repression and the disproportionate use of force by security forces against peaceful protesters, media personnel and lawyers, and is concerned by the routine use of force, arrest and intimidation to exacerbate a pervasive climate of fear and repression. The CPA also noted that the present year has already seen several incidents that speak to the continuation of these repressive trends as the citizenry continues to bear the brunt of dire economic conditions.
The CPA reiterated that the right to protest, as manifested in the freedom of assembly,
Association and expression are vital for the healthy functioning of a democracy.
“Undermining these rights can have serious implications for the rule of law and democracy in Sri Lanka.” In the words of Justice Mark Fernando in the Jana Ghosha case in 1993,Stifling the peaceful expression of legitimate dissent today can only result, inexorably, in the catastrophic explosion of violence some other day. “These words resonate in a country that is confronted with a deepening crisis and multiple uncertainties,” the CPA further said.
The CPA urged the authorities to desist from the use of ad-hoc and arbitrary measures and to adhere to its obligations towards its citizens.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here