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Protest demand protection of minority rights in Sri Lanka

2014 Mar 21

 Protestors marched in Sri Lanka' s capital on Wednesday calling on the government to release human right activists and promote equal rights for minorities ten days ahead of a crucial vote on a resolution at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

Sri Lankan government is facing its third consecutive resolution at the UNHRC in Geneva for failing to promote reconciliation and equal rights after the end of a three- decade war in 2009 with government troops defeating the Liberation Tamil Tigers of Eelam (LTTE).

The vote will be held on March 29. Sri Lanka has already lost two resolutions in 2012 and 2013.

Protestors belonging to Christian Cooperation Association protested in Colombo a day after two human right activists were released by the Sri Lankan government. They had been held in custody for two days and were let go after vehement protests from non-governmental organizations.

"The Sri Lankan government must prove it is genuine about promoting rights of minorities by showing in a practical manner," said a statement released by the organization.

The External Affairs Ministry also released a statement pointing out that human right activists Ruki Fernando and Father Praveen Mahesan had been taken into police custody on March 16 for "their presence in the crime scene where investigations have been ongoing into attempts to revive the LTTE in Sri Lanka by certain operatives."

The activists were produced before the Colombo Magistrate Court on March 18 and released on bail. Further investigations continue.

"This action demonstrates the firm resolve of the Sri Lanka Government to take all necessary measures to prevent the resurgence of terrorism, and also the fair and transparent manner in which law and order is administered in the country," the statement added.

The Sri Lankan government had also issued a statement to the UNHRC explaining the reasons for the arrest.

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