Rights Group warns of Sri Lanka's collapsing rule of law

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 04 May 2005, 00:05 GMT]
Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) condemned the murder of journalist Dharmeratnam Sivaram and faulted the Government of Sri Lanka for its inability to arrest the "collapsing rule of law" across Sri Lanka and for creating a culture of impunity where "anyone can get away with murder," in a media release issued on 3 May 2005.

Pointing out that Mr Sivaram was abducted "in front of the busy Bambalapitiya Police station," and the gagged body with gunshot wounds was dumped "within sight of the parliament complex, in the heart of the capital," AHRC said, "Today, the security of no Sri Lankan citizen is reasonably guaranteed."

"This is the latest in a series of killings that the Sri Lankan government has proven unable to address due to its historical ambivalence to such murders. Assassination became an express part of government policy in the early 1980s. The period of terror that followed ended only with the political defeat of the incumbent government. The explicit use of the police and armed forces as political killers ended, yet there were no attempts to address the effects of this time.

"In fact, the condoning of limited assassinations has continued from time to time. Coupled with the inability of the state to improve the law and order situation, this has contributed to an environment in which anyone can get away with murder," the media release said.

The AHRC added, "it is time for sober and sane reflection on the collapsed rule of law," and warned that "until this central issue receives the attention it deserves, talk about bringing stability to the country will mean little, and the assassinations will continue."

The Asian Human Rights Commission is a regional non-governmental organisation monitoring and lobbying human rights issues in Asia. The Hong Kong-based group was founded in 1984.


External Links:
AHRC: Murder of Sri Lankan journalist


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