Today– Human Rights Day http://www.un.org/en/events/humanrightsday/
It is opportune that when Sri Lanka which is now free of a Terrorist Threat is faced with a very insidious kind of violation of Human Rights. This time it is state sponsored, or instigated violations that are getting out of control, and which instills fear over anyone who wishes to speak against any act that the Govt. carries out to which he or she disagrees.
“Therefore the majority prefer to stay silent, as they do not wish to incur the wrath of the state against them or their families, and the brave prefer to speak out.”
I attended a few meetings yesterday at which the speakers were adamant, that they are prepared to lay down their lives to fight the grave injustices to basic rights as practiced by the Government rather than live under this brutal oppression. This was from an educated and well established individual, openly stating this to the people in attendance.
To live in Sri Lanka today, two days after the PSC has found the CJ guilty of three out of five counts investigated, at a time when the independence of the Judiciary is in doubt, I can understand his statement.
Unfortunately, many people in Sri Lanka cannot understand what basic human rights is until they come face to face with a problem and realize that they have no recourse. It is this mentality of people, who are only concerned about their own selves, until they themselves come face to face with the lack of basic rights, will they understand why there is opposition to the direction this country is going.
The rights as defined by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are the simple ideas that we in Sri Lanka of 2013 and are fighting for. See Charter
We have had three instances in the past week where those rights, very publicly have been compromised, and the State is the harbinger in each of them. It is time today to reflect on what is important to human beings, what is at stake and how we as law abiding, and patriotic citizens of this country can fight for these simple basic inalienable rights, when laws and decrees are made in contravention of these basic rights. Let us hope that in 2013 we can make inroads in regaining what we have lost. We must all work together.