COLOMBO (News 1st); The Centre for Policy Alternatives has expressed deep concern over the arrests of individuals under the ICCPR.
The Centre for Policy Alternatives urges authorities to desist with efforts to restrict fundamental rights.
The CPA noted that is deeply concerned with the recent arrest of Natasha Edirisooriya reportedly under the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights Act (ICCPR Act), the latest move to stifle freedom of speech in the guise of protecting religious harmony.
CPA notes that this is not the only arrest under the ICCPR Act in recent times where persons have reportedly been arrested for content that pose a threat to religious
and national harmony, and national security.
CPA also notes media reports indicating the introduction of new laws meant to safeguard and uphold religious harmonyis in a context where there is a plethora of laws
with the actual challenge not due to a lack of laws but to the lack of proper implementation of such laws and holding perpetrators accountable for incitement and violence.
This is confirmed with Sri Lanka’s recent experiences where despite the availability of evidence, no action was taken against alleged perpetrators.
CPA urges authorities to desist with efforts to restrict fundamental rights and measures that erode the rule of law and weaken Sri Lanka’s fragile peace.