The Platform for Freedom vehemently condemn the attack on Executive Director, Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu by putting up posters with a text which states: “Let us save the pro-people Divineguma Act that builds the lives of fifteen lakhs of low income families from the Paikiasothy gang that aids and abets the separation of the country.” These posters were seen in several areas of the Colombo District. We learn that on the same day military personnel has visited the CPA office and leaving the premises after checking the address.
The government has continued to attack civil society actors and organizations who have resolutely stood up for democracy , good governance and enhancement of rule of law. Dr Saravanamuttu also as a Convener of the Platform for Freedom has provided leadership in our effort to develop a political consensus to regain back the freedom to dissent that is fast diminishing in our country. It is regrettable that forces closer to the ruling coalition and those supporting them continue to use hate language and inciting violence whenever groups and activists express their dissent through democratic means. We wish to condemn the habitual obsession of the authority to name and shame civil society activities as `aiding and abetting the separation of the country’ when ever human rights defenders or civil society challenges the regime. This is a mere ploy to strengthen the fascist elements inside the government who in turn is encouraged to carry on a propaganda in this manner further nurturing the consolidation of authoritarianism.
We as civil society will continue to raise issues to protect the resources of the people. We oppose the schemes being introduced to centralize power through the Divi Neguma Bill. We affirm the principles of devolution of power to the Provinces and call upon all parties to ensure the implementation of the 13th amendment.
It is our position that as citizens we have every right to challenge the government to protect the interest and future of the country. We are committed to safeguard the interest of all the people living in this country and not that of the ruling elite and political leaders.
( on behalf of Conveners)
17th October 2012,