The Federation of University Teachers’ Association (FUTA) yesterday (15) made a public appeal from the Sri Lankan people to intervene and stop the “private mercenary” behaviour of the police force, while the Frontline Socialist Party (FSP) on Friday (13) requested the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) for an immediate investigation into the alleged threats that activists are facing from the Police.
In a written statement to the media, the FUTA claimed that the Government is “exploiting and prostituting” Sri Lanka Police to crack down on dissent.
“We observe that there is a growing wave of popular sentiment against the Government’s bungling of the education sector. The Government, unable to contend with this movement, is exploiting and prostituting the police force of this country. The police force has a duty to safeguard the rights of the citizenry but instead we observe that at the moment it is being used as a mechanism to stifle democratic dissent.”
It added that the best example that illustrates the Government’s “repressive approach” is its response to the protest walk and rally organised on 3 August with the participation of academics representing the FUTA.
“The Police is carrying out a witch-hunt against Dr. Mahim Mendis and 15 other activists who participated in this peaceful protest walk and rally which culminated in the symbolic burning of a coffin and the pushing down of a few barriers.”
Thus, the FUTA appealed to the Sri Lankan public, especially the legal community, to “demand that the police force, which is behaving like a private mercenary force of the Government, be immediately reformed to perform its constitutionally enshrined duty of safeguarding the rights and liberties of the people of this country”.