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CPA says incidents of killing unarmed citizens are shameful reminders...

2013 Aug 07

Issuing a communique, Civil Society Organisation, the Center for Policy Alternatives notes that incidents of killing unarmed citizens, are tragic and shameful reminders of the collapse of rule of law in the country, and most importantly, of the mind-set of the government in respect of the exercise of democratic rights by its citizens.

The Centre for Policy Alternatives notes that the incident in Weliweriya, was not the first instance in post-war Sri Lanka, of unarmed citizens exercising their democratic right to protest, being tear gassed, fired upon and killed.

The communique reads that serious and fundamental questions come to the fore with regard to the rule of law and the maintenance of law and order by the government, in the context of the complete disregard of the constitutional and legal framework governing the circumstances in which the armed forces may be legitimately called out in aid of the civil power.

The CPA questions whether it is now a standing operating procedure for the police to abdicate its responsibilities for law and order, on accoubnt of incapacity or otherwise, and call in special forces and the army.

Furthermore the Communique reads: "Adding insult to injury, government spokespersons are also quoted as alleging foreign involvement in this event, political party sponsorship ofthe violence, and ascribing responsibility to the media for the events".

The CPA adds, that nothing short of a credible, independent and impartial investigation, the findings of which should be made public, can allay the concerns of the citizens of Sri Lanka as to the alarming extent of the collapse of rule of law and of law and order in the country.

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