FORUM ASIA statement on the assasination and emergency law in Sri Lanka
FORUM-ASIA strongly condemns recent wave of assassinations in Sri Lanka, including that of the Foreign Minister, Radio and TV broadcaster and her husband. Such killings must not be allowed to continue for it will strongly undermine the ongoing peace process which is still fragile even after years of efforts.
Though the Memorandum of Understanding between the Sri Lankan Government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in February 2002 had put a stop to thousands of killings due to the war, we are still concerned with regards to the escalating violence, particularly the killings of Tamil political parties, journalists, intelligence offices in the last few years.
FORUM-ASIA would also like to express our deep concern in relation to the declaration of the state of emergency by the President, and subsequent reports of detentions without charges. While we note the importance of security measures in the present context, we would like to caution the Sri Lankan government that emergency laws usually give rise to increased human rights violations by the state, leading to more violence, as evident from past experiences in Sri Lanka as well as other countries. Members of the minority Tamil community have already expressed fears of being harassed by the police and security forces.
We urge the authorities to conduct speedy investigations into all killings, irrespective of status, political ideologies, ethnicity and identity of the victims and to ensure that justice is done, following due process. We also urge the LTTE, all political parties and all others concerned to cooperate in the investigations. Premature public statements without proper investigations by the President, Police Chief, politicians, other responsible offices and media, pointing fingers towards perpetrators should be avoided for it could further undermine peace efforts.
While we are conscious that these killings will be a major setback to the peace process, particularly the confidence-building efforts underway, we urge all parties concerned, particularly the Government, LTTE, other political parties and foreign governments to renew their commitment to the peace process and to resume peace talks.
Anselmo LEE, Executive Director
For further details of the statement, please contact
Mr. Ruki Fernando, Human Rights Defender
(HRD) Program Coordinator / Focal Point on Sri Lanka
email@example.com, Tel 66-4-099-1538