Sanjana has put out a call for articles on ‘UDHR at 60 in Sri Lanka – Fact or Fiction?,’ to commemorate the 60th anniversary of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights that occurred on December 10th. He has asked for short essays, photos, audio clips or short videos on the state of human rights in Sri Lanka today to Groundviews. If you remember ‘Remember’ – http://www.groundviews.org/remember – you may want to check out a special section on the site for these submissions, provided he gets a sufficient number of them from you folk out there who may have any interesting views on the subject. Submissions within the course of a week should do fine.

Java doesn’t have enough background information on the UDHR, its history and its current global status, so is unable to contribute a deeply meaningful or incisive view regarding its progress or regression in Sri Lanka, although he did mention the sporadic surges in Human Rights abuses in the fifties, (we were out of Sri Lanka for much of the sixties and seventies), eighties and on, right up to the ones perpetrated by folk under the prevailing regime. And then when he Googled UDHR and read the Declaration he had to agree that judging from all the evidence that was available, it did seem like the Human Rights of countless individuals were being violated with impunity – mostly in the guise of National Security.

We even recalled some of the outrageous and insulting statements put out by the spokesperson for the regime in response to reports by the UNHCR and Amnesty International with regard to the violations, denying that such actions take place. In other words, attesting that Human Rights was alive and well in Sri Lanka and the allegations were just so much fiction put out by international organizations with hidden agendas. The fact of the matter, according to the regime, is that the Human Rights of all citizens are being assiduously protected and the entire hullabaloo was being created by agents of the LTTE and other players who want to sully the exemplary record of the regime.

The incidents such as the eviction of Tamils from boarding houses in Colombo, the continued incarceration and abuse of journalists who were critical of the regime, the attacks on media and journalists who didn’t toe the regime’s line were all dismissed as actions carried out in the best interests of the citizens in general and the country in particular. Violent abuse and aggression by a particularly vociferous and profane Member of Parliament against employees of a state-owned institute died a natural death and never even caught a whiff of justice – so much for the Human Rights of the victims of the abuse! In fact, some of the individuals who dared to oppose the thugs who attacked them and their institution were meticulously followed and dealt with violently – and nothing happened! The Police appeared to be completely neutralized, or else have been totally inefficient, as no one was ever apprehended, although circumstances indicated to anyone with even a modicum of intelligence, who was responsible and just who it was that protected whom.

There’s more – much more, we’re sure, but Java hasn’t the energy to get into it any more than he already has.

So is UDHR at 60 in Sri Lanka fact or fiction?

You tell me!

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