Amnesty International Concerned Over some of the Statements by the new Sri Lankan Government Indicating that even the Limited but key Gains of Recent Years on the Human Rights Front may be Rolled Back.

By Chandani Kirinde

Amnesty International (AI) said yesterday that Sri Lanka’s human rights record in 2019 was characterised by unrealised Government commitments to pursue truth, justice and reparations, continued impunity for violations and abuses, and compromised freedoms of religion and expression.

Speaking at the launch of the human rights organisation’s Human Rights in Asia-Pacific: Review of 2019, Deputy Regional Director Amnesty International South Asia Omar Waraich said that 2019 was a year of repression, but also of resistance in the region.

“Across Southeast Asia, repressive governments entrenched themselves further, silenced their opponents, muzzled the media, and shrank civic space to the point where, in many countries, even participation in a peaceful protest can trigger arrest. In South Asia, governments appeared anxious to keep up, innovating new ways to perpetuate old patterns of repression – especially through the introduction of draconian laws that punish dissent online,” Waraich said.

The report provides a comprehensive overview of the human rights situation in the region. Violations of human rights, death penalty, climate crisis, as well as dissent and fights against hate in the regional are documented under each country profile in the report.

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