3.5 C
London
Saturday, December 5, 2020

Sri Lanka: MP Bakeer Markar alleges police are to arrest 200 critical journalists

Image: Courtesy of IFEX.

Opposition Samagi Jana Balavegaya Member of Parliament Imthiaz Bakeer Markar is accusing the government of targeting media-persons critical of the government and told Parliament today that the police have been given a list of these critics who will be arrested.

Bakeer Markar, a former Media Minister said “I have information that a list of 200 media persons has been given to the police who are to be prosecuted. The arrests have already started.”

He pointed out that Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa as a young leader fought for Human Rights and even went before the international community with his activism.

It is not right that a government led by this Prime Minister who was a Human Rights advocate go in this direction. Our people will not approve of such a government as has been seen in the past.

Bakeer Markar said that 1,400 years ago an early ruler of the Islamic kingdom urged the people to freely point out his shortcomings. He said those good citizens should point out these matters and if he reacted with anger he would not be a good ruler.

“I believe that truth which was applicable to that time applies today as well,” he said.

“The entire world has become affected by the Corona 19 pandemic. International travel has stopped, factories and businesses are closed and trade has been halted.”

We have to realize that tens of thousands of our people have lost their jobs, workplaces have closed. From the daily wage earners in the Manning Market to the three-wheeler driver who has got his vehicle on a lease to masons and others on a daily wage are suffering.

These are difficult times and everybody in the world is facing this crisis. In these times governments must respond to help the citizens overcome their issues.

But in these times there are opportunities as John F Kennedy once said. He said that while we deal with the danger we are facing we must seize the opportunities that arise.

But we do not see this in the budget that was presented.

Hundreds of thousands of people are confined to their homes and we see the more successful countries seizing this opportunity and going forward. We see nothing from this government.

From the President’s address to the nation what we saw was that he was still stuck in the divisive politics of this country. This was to keep and stay in power. We cannot go forward like that.

For five decades these politics of division have given generations a life of violence. At least now let’s change that. (Colombo, November 20, 2020)

Reported by Arjuna Ranawana/EN

Archive

Latest news

CPPR submits an urgent appeal on the situation of prisons in Sri Lanka to UN Special Rapporteurs.

Image: A  leaked photo of killings at the  Maraha prison. In a submission to Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment...

Rajapaksa Govt should have banned Tamil National Alliance after the war says Sri Lankan Minister for Public Security

Minister of Public Security, Rear Admiral (retired) Sarath Weerasekara says that Mahinda Rajapaksa Government should have banned the largest Tamil political party, the Tamil...

Sri Lanka: Mahara prison killings must be properly investigated and urgent measures taken to protect detainees from COVID-19 – ICJ

The ICJ today ( 2 Dec 2020) called upon the Sri Lankan authorities to conduct a prompt, thorough and impartial investigation into the events...

Sri Lanka: Tamil journalist arrested for social media posts

A Tamil journalist locally known as Gokulan, affiliated with Battinews.com was arrested by the Sri Lankan Terrorism Investigation Division (TID) on November 29 for posting pictures on his...

Related news

CPPR submits an urgent appeal on the situation of prisons in Sri Lanka to UN Special Rapporteurs.

Image: A  leaked photo of killings at the  Maraha prison. In a submission to Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment...

Rajapaksa Govt should have banned Tamil National Alliance after the war says Sri Lankan Minister for Public Security

Minister of Public Security, Rear Admiral (retired) Sarath Weerasekara says that Mahinda Rajapaksa Government should have banned the largest Tamil political party, the Tamil...

Sri Lanka: Mahara prison killings must be properly investigated and urgent measures taken to protect detainees from COVID-19 – ICJ

The ICJ today ( 2 Dec 2020) called upon the Sri Lankan authorities to conduct a prompt, thorough and impartial investigation into the events...

Sri Lanka: Tamil journalist arrested for social media posts

A Tamil journalist locally known as Gokulan, affiliated with Battinews.com was arrested by the Sri Lankan Terrorism Investigation Division (TID) on November 29 for posting pictures on his...