Human rights must be at the heart of next Presidency

Human rights must be at the heart of next Presidency

(FASTNEWS | COLOMBO) – Sri Lanka’s next president must put human rights at the heart of their policies, Amnesty International said today (18).

Ahead of next month’s presidential election, the human rights organization called on candidates to prioritize key human rights issues, including commitments on transitional justice made in the aftermath of the decades-long internal conflict.

“Human rights must be at the heart of the next Sri Lankan president’s policies. The authorities have made slow and limited but important progress when it comes to addressing human rights violations and abuses including the areas of truth, justice, reparations and guarantees of non-recurrence. To move on, the wounds of the past must be redressed. That is only possible if these gains are built upon,” said Biraj Patnaik, South Asia Director at Amnesty International.

“The families of the disappeared, the victims of torture and sexual violence, the people forced off their land, and others who have suffered grave human rights violations must not be forgotten. The suspected perpetrators must be held accountable.”

Amnesty International also calls on the candidates for elections to if elected commit to repealing repressive laws, protecting civic space, abolishing the death penalty and protecting human rights including the rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association.