A Statement by the Asian Human Rights Commission
The common candidate for several opposition parties, retired general Sarath Fonseka, has made an appeal to the President of Sri Lanka to ensure security for him through the Inspector General of Police. This has been published through several media channels. The retired general has also stated that there is a plot to arrest and assassinate him. There are also fears expressed by several sources that in the event of army officers forcibly trying to arrest persons inside the Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel where Fonseka is being held at the moment, there can be a conflict which may lead to serious injuries. Fears have also been expressed that a ploy may be used under the pretext of arresting him to create the impression of a conflict as a cause for possible injuries to him.
There are also many reports of the arrest of others who were associated with the general. Already there has been one bomb blast in which two persons are said to have been killed including an 80-year-old monk. Several others were injured. There are also rumours of possible disturbances which may escalate into violence.
The Asian Human Rights Commission is earnestly urging the President and the government of Sri Lanka to take all possible measures to ensure the safety for this candidate of the presidential election and all others that may be facing dangerous situations at the moment. At all times it is the duty of the government of the country to ensure the safety of all and particularly for those who have engaged in the lawful exercise of their public functions with the view to play their role in the political life of the country.
The AHRC also urges the Secretary General of the United Nations, the High Commissioner for Human Rights and all other human rights agencies of the United Nations to act before it is too late to ensure the safety of everyone and peace in the country. It is the duty of the international community to ensure that the further escalation of violence does not take place in this much troubled island which has suffered due to long years of civil war.
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About AHRC: The Asian Human Rights Commission is a regional non-governmental organisation monitoring and lobbying human rights issues in Asia. The Hong Kong-based group was founded in 1984.
Posted on 2010-01-27