Are our civil and political rights being abused?

by Wilson Perera

(October 29, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) The government devoured Rs 3.2 million of people’s money on Mihin Air. According to Sachin Vaas (interview in a Sinhala paper) "President on the request of a few Sri Lankans in Maldives who could not afford air fares of other airlines, started Mihin Air." What a charade?

Now they are going to pump in more people’s money to rejuvenate it. What can people do when the opposition is doing nothing concrete to stop this waste. Why not the UNP seek a ruling from the supreme court on this issue also, as in the case of oil prices.

Now we are losing GSP+ it appears. Prof. Peiris says that the government is strongly against the EU wanting to carry out an investigation in the country to ascertain whether or not civil and political rights and other international labour conventions are being put into practice. The Cabinet and the Central Bank are formulating a US$ 150 million bailout package to the apparel sector in the event the GSP + scheme is not renewed.

Why does not the government permit an international organisation to look into the compliance factor before granting a facility? It clearly proves that the government is violating civil and political rights and the government is scared that it will come to light internationally. The government is sure to use people’s money — US$ 150 million — again to hide the true facts and save themselves from other aid suspensions.

Some cartoonists show the Elephant as a wounded animal and Ranil as down and out. This is far from the truth. Both are hale and hearty with more vigour than before and with more and more followers. The UNP has not lost it's vote base but increased it's votes considering the votes they polled in the recent elections amidst heavy government violence and one time insurgent sponsored violence.

It is also true that the UNP, even if it changes its leader, will find it difficult to win any election in the near future because of government sponsored thuggery and vote rigging. But that does not mean that everything is rosy for the government which keeps on marketing the war and abusing power.

Pillayan says that Janaka Perera was killed by the LTTE and asks what his fate would be if he and his men lay down arms. The President has also believed his stance and allowed him to carry arms while operating as a political party.

Does that mean that UNP also could build a private para-military organisation because the LTTE is targeting it? For that matter, could any political party arm itself because there is a threat from the LTTE?
- Sri Lanka Guardian