#AmnestyAsks – What does Sirisena’s 100 day human rights report card say?

Amnesty International India
22 April 2015 11:02 am

Sri Lankan president Maithripala Sirisena has completed 100 days in power this week. We spoke to Sanjana Hattotuwa, Senior Researcher at Centre for Policy Alternatives in Colombo, to find out whether the new administration in Sri Lanka can end the continuing marginalisation of minorities in Sri Lanka.

Earlier this year, Amnesty International India ran a campaign called ‘Say Yes Sirisena’ asking President Sirisena’s government to take the following steps as a part of his 100 day agenda:

  1. End Discrimination: Protect ethnic linguistic and religious minorities and ensure full investigation of any attacks against them
  2. Ensure impartial investigation: Pass laws that strengthen independent institutions like the judiciary, police, human rights commissions and prosecute those suspected of committing human rights violations and crimes under international law
  3. Protect Witness: Introduce witness protection to enable effective investigation into alleged human rights violations and crimes under international law
  4. Open up Free Speech: Protect journalists and activists from threats and attacks.
Sanjana Hattotuwa, Senior Researcher at
Sanjana Hattotuwa, Senior Researcher at Centre for Policy Alternatives, Colombo

Sanjana Hattotuwa says that Maithripala Sirisena has a chance now to look at the harder, enduring aspects of what constitutes conflict and violence in the country, even though there is no war now. He says the continuing marginalisation of minorities within the constitution architecture needs to be addressed if the country is serious about enduring reconciliation.