Human Rights Watch wants Ranil to uphold rights

Human Rights Watch, an international rights organisation has said President Ranil Wickremesinghe, should ensure that his administration adopts measures to protect the basic rights of all Sri Lankans. The organisation said this in a letter outlining key human rights concerns it has on Sri Lanka. 

“The government should prioritize protecting the public from further hardship by putting in place appropriate social protection policies and addressing endemic corruption while respecting fundamental rights, including freedoms of expression and association, and ending abuses by the security forces,” it said. 

Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director at Human Rights Watch pointed out that while Wickremesinghe faces immense challenges, imposing draconian emergency regulations, politically motivated arrests of protest leaders, and heightened surveillance of activist groups will not solve Sri Lanka’s dire problems. 

“Sri Lanka’s partners have been clear that international economic assistance will only be effective if the government adheres to human rights and the rule of law and addresses the root causes of the crisis.” she noted. 

Human Rights Watch called on President Wickremesinghe among others to ensure that people are able to freely and peacefully express their views without fear of reprisal or arrest, Withdraw emergency regulation provisions, and Announce a formal moratorium on the use of the Prevention of Terrorism Act, Establish a new social protection system and Conduct independent and impartial investigations into allegations of serious human rights abuses and high-level corruption.