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Sri Lanka Task Force Welcomes European Union Resolution While Urging Policies That Help All Sri Lankans

Justice for All welcomes the stance that the European Parliament has made in issuing its resolution “European Parliament resolution on the situation in Sri Lanka, in particular, the arrests under the Prevention of Terrorism Act”, to repeal its Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), to immediately suspend its deradicalization policies, release detainees who have not been charged and receiving a fair trial, and for human rights to be enacted in the country equitably, with mention of religious and ethnic minorities. The Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) has stifled dissent, been used against and hurt minority populations.

We urge the Sri Lankan government to repeal the PTA. We urge the adoption of policies that help the people of Sri Lanka.

“We believe the Sri Lankan government needs to take a look at this and correct their human rights violations and repeal the PTA,” said Sri Lanka Task Force Chair Faris Hussain. “We want the government to look closely at this resolution and do the right thing and abolish the PTA,” he added. 

In the past three months, three entities have released resolutions against the Sri Lankan government, recognizing the collapse of human rights. In March, the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted theirs on “promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka”, and on May 18, the United States Congress led by Representative Deborah Ross (NC-D) submitted their introduction before the Foreign Affairs Committee. 

Human rights have been deteriorating rapidly within the past year, with forced cremations, proposals of burqa bans and the closings of 1,000 religious schools, unlawful arrests and detainments of political opponents, poets, and lawyers, and more.

Again, we urge the Sri Lankan government to consider the human rights of their people, the economy of their country, and their own moral values in repealing all aspects of the PTA, including the deradicalization. 

Background

The European Parliament has recently adopted a resolution of 628-15-40 for Sri Lanka to repeal its Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), to immediately suspend its deradicalization policies, release detainees who have not been charged and receiving fair trial, and for human rights to be enacted in the country equitably, with mention of religious and ethnic minorities. The Parliament had suggested if not, a temporary suspension of Sri Lanka’s Generalized Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP +) be enacted. 

With the removal of the GSP + status, Sri Lanka’s economy could be hit hard. This allows all exports to enter the EU without customs duties. The EU is Sri Lanka’s second-largest export and has increased its exports to EUR 2.3 billion, according to the Resolution. 

Sri Lanka Task Force works on religious freedom and human rights in Sri Lanka, in particular those of the Muslim community.

Contact: Nick Mason

Nick@justiceforall.org

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