Tuesday, June 18, 2024

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Foreign missions call on the Govt to respect the right to peaceful protests

US Ambassador Julie Chang joined several other heads of missions in Colombo to call on the Government to respect the people’s right to peaceful protests.

“Sri Lankans have a right to protest peacefully – essentially for democratic expression. I am watching the situation closely, and hope the coming days bring restraint from all sides, as well as much-needed economic stability and relief for those suffering,” Ambassador Chang said on Twitter.

The Office of the European Union expressed concern over the state of emergency and strongly urged Sri Lankan authorities to safeguard democratic rights of all citizens, including the right to free assembly and dissent, which has to be peaceful. “Challenging times for Sri Lankan people – EU continues to follow situation closely,” the EU office in Colombo said.

The German Ambassador in Colombo Holger Seubert associated himself with the sentiments of the EU and added that people demonstrating for their rights is no emergency. “It’s the emergency that brings them to the streets,” he said.

The Canadian High Commissioner in Colombo David McKinnon said that the freedom of expression and the right to peaceful protest are fundamental to the success of any democracy, including Sri Lanka’s. “The free exchange of ideas is also how solutions to challenges will be found,” he said on Twitter.

Meanwhile thousands of Lankans abroad from around the world yesterday staged protests demanding the Government resign over the failure to resolve multiple crises.

Protestors from Australia, New Zealand, UK, France, US, Finland, Canada, Italy and Germany held placards and shouted slogans demanding that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa step down along with the rest of the Government.

Irrespective of religion or race, Sri Lankans living overseas gathered in unity to show their support to fellow Lankans at home, who are suffering from the worst economic crisis, amidst a state of emergency, where curfew has been imposed countrywide.

They called on the Government to stop oppression against people’s right to protest peacefully.

A small group of protestors have gathered outside President Gotabaya Rakapaksa’s son’s house in Los Angeles, USA, with protestors calling on him to call his father back home.

The protester said that President Gotabaya had to go down and his money had to come back. The protester said that people in Los Angeles are with Sri Lankans

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