Sri Lankan civil society condemns government intimidation

Issued by Transparency International Sri Lanka



Over the past few years Sri Lanka's civil society organizations have been facing a most challenging task in discharging their responsibilities and obligations. These challenges have led to a situation which has resulted in weakening the spirit of both civil society activists and the organisations themselves. It has also challenged the democratic framework and good governance.

In the recent past civil society activists and organisations faced numerous threats and intimidations. Due to fear or reprisal some of these incidents were not reported. A grave situation has been created by making the civil society, which is a force to be reckoned with in any society, completely inactive. A most recent example is the threats aimed at Transparency International Sri Lanka – the pioneer national institution working towards combatting bribery and corruption and promoting good governance. Transparency International Sri Lanka faced severe challenges in conducting investigative journalism training workshops and even in holding the annual general meeting. Even though the government should take action to strengthen civil society in such situations, its silence and inaction makes it clear that an unidentified hand is behind these operations with the support of the government.

It is evident that these unidentified forces that operated in the North and East for a considerable time are now working towards making the civil society inactive even in the South. These actions of intimidation cannot be disregarded in any way at a time when what is needed is the active participation of civil society and the public. The International Convention on Civil and Political Rights Article 14 of the Constitution clearly protects freedom of speech and association.

We, the Civil Society Collective vehemently condemn all efforts to deprive this right. While we also condemn the inaction of the government to protect civil society in such a situation, we intend taking all possible action.

We express our deep regret at the government's indifferent attitude towards the civil society. We wish to emphatically state that we are committed to forcefully face such situations in the future. While we invite civil society organisations to join us in protecting civil and political rights, we appeal to civil society activists and organisations to inform us if they have been subject to any threats, harassments or intimidations.


For any press enquiries please contact

Civil Society Collective
24/13 Vijayaba Mawatha, Nawala Road, Nugegoda
E: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Supplementary downloads

Latest

Support Transparency International

Civil society’s crucial role in sustainable development

Key players in the development community are meeting in New York for the main United Nations conference on sustainable development, the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF). Transparency International is there to highlight how corruption obstructs development and report on how effectively countries are tackling this issue.

Comment gagner la lutte contre la corruption en Afrique

Aujourd’hui est la Journée africaine de lutte contre la corruption – une occasion opportunité pour reconnaitre le progrès dans la lutte contre la corruption en Afrique et le travail significatif qui reste encore à accomplir.

How to win the fight against corruption in Africa

African Anti-Corruption Day is an important opportunity to recognise both the progress made in the fight against corruption in Africa and the significant work still left to do.

Increasing accountability and safeguarding billions in climate finance

In December 2015, governments from around the world came together to sign the Paris Agreement, agreeing to tackle climate change and keep global warming under two degrees centigrade. They committed to spend US$100 billion annually by 2020 to help developing countries reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and protect themselves against the potentially devastating effects of climate change.

After Gürtel, what next for Spain’s struggle with political corruption?

At the start of June, the Spanish parliament voted to oust Prime Minister Rajoy after his political party was embroiled in the biggest corruption scandal in Spain’s democratic history. At this critical juncture in Spain’s struggle with political corruption, Transparency International urges all parties to join forces against impunity and support anti-corruption efforts in public life.

Risk of impunity increases with outcome of Portuguese-Angolan corruption trial

A verdict last week by the Lisbon Court of Appeals in the trial of former Angolan vice president Manuel Vicente has disappointed hopes for a triumph of legal due process over politics and impunity. It also has worrying implications for the independence of Portugal’s judiciary.

The UK just made it harder for the corrupt to hide their wealth offshore

If counted together, the United Kingdom and its Overseas Territories and Crown dependencies would rank worst in the world for financial secrecy. Fortunately, this could soon change.

Social Media

Follow us on Social Media