[Joint statement following the disruption of a civil society meeting]
The embassies of France, Germany, Great Britain and Switzerland strongly condemn the disruption
by an organized group including monks of the get-together on the theme “Sharing and listening
session with families of the disappeared” organized by Families of the Disappeared in the Centre for
Society and Religion on the 4th of August 2014. As was noted in the statement by the U.S. Embassy
yesterday, the organized group made forced entry into the room where the discussions were taking
place, shouting violently.
Over 30 family members of disappeared persons having travelled from the Northern Province,
members of civil society and NGOs as well as members of the diplomatic community were in the
premises when the disruption took place.
All those present felt that their security was under threat.
We strongly urge the government to ensure and respect freedom of assembly and expression in Sri
Lanka. We sincerely hope that the security of those having travelled from the Northern Province to
share their experience will be assured upon their return.
Colombo, Tuesday 5th August 2015