We republish this statement with permission.
21st March 2012
In the backdrop of the resolution on Sri Lanka being discussed in Geneva and the expected vote on the resolution this week, the Sri Lanka Government and its propaganda teams have intensified an extremely malicious hate campaign against human rights defenders who express their views on accountability and governance issues in Sri Lanka.
In particular, government media units have constantly attacked Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, Dr. Nimalka Fernando, Ms. Sunila Abeysekera, Mr. Sunanda Deshapriya and Mr. J. C. Weliamuna calling them traitors, inciting extremist elements to attack them and as a result, making them vulnerable to physical attacks. Photo images of other press freedom activists such as Mr. Rohitha Bashana Abeygoonawardena, Mr. Sanath Balasooriya and Mr. Poddala Jayantha have also been shown in government media programmes. The present series of attacks have directly accused these human rights defenders of supporting the LTTE, of receiving money from the Tamil diaspora and of working against the interests of the country to obtain “dollars”. The present attacks follow on from previous attacks by Government ministers and government media on the Free Media Movement, press freedom activists and the Bishop of Mannar.