28 MARCH 2012, KATHMANDU, NEPAL
The South Asia Alliance for Poverty Eradication (SAAPE), a regional civil society network encompassing all eight countries of South Asia, absolutely denounces the threats, intimidation and harassment directed to Sri Lankan human rights defenders and journalists by the Government of Sri Lanka, against the background of the recent resolution on Sri Lanka adopted by the United Nations Human Rights Council on 23 March 2012 in Geneva.
SAAPE members Nimalka Fernando, Sunila Abeysekera and Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu have been particularly attacked by the hate campaigns sponsored by the government and its crony media on the basis of their active involvement with regard to the aforementioned 19th session of the Human Rights Council. All three human rights defenders and journalists have a long-standing credible history in the field of promoting and protecting human rights, exposing as well as opposing the culture of impunity and the lack of accountability and justice by the state to her innocent citizens. On this note, SAAPE also extends its solidarity and support to the statement jointly issued by these three members on 23 March defending their cause in continuing to uphold their commitment to their democratic ideals and goals.
SAAPE is strongly concerned for the full safety and dignity of its members who are firmly standing up against all types of injustices and gross human rights violations. SAAPE firmly believes that human rights violations of any kind is non-negotiable and hence, urgently calls on the Government of Sri Lanka to abide by the Constitution of the country including the international human rights conventions to which it is signatory. SAAPE demands that the Government of Sri Lanka is obliged to allow its citizens to fully and freely exercise their democratic rights for the promotion and protection of democracy, human rights and peace. SAAPE also appeals to the international community to support Sri Lankan peoples in their fight against the undemocratic culture propagated by the Government of Sri Lanka.
Dr. Arjun Karki