| by Thomas Johnpulle

( December 24, 2014, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Sri Lanka is a democracy only by name. In reality it is a dictatorship run by a single family. After the Constitution was changed in 2010 to allow the president unlimited terms, dictatorial tendencies have multiplied. Although an election is called, the opposition is not allowed to freely and fairly engage in election work. Regular attacks, intimidations, partisan police action and misusing the heavily politicized legal system to frame opposition activists are seen daily.

In its latest assault on freedom and harmony, the government has come up with a concocted story of an illicit agreement said to exist between the Common Candidate and the United National Party. It is a complete lie but this type of character assassinations take place regularly in Sri Lankan politics instigated by the ruling party using state resources. It arouses racism and intolerance and threatens peace and human dignity.

Government servants are pressurized and threatened to follow the political stand of the ruling party. Those who disobey are sacked from their positions and attacked. Even family members are not spared from these vicious retributions.

Opposition activists, students and peaceful protestors are attacked, killed and/or forcibly disappeared regularly. People fear to freely engage in politics turning the country into a dictatorship like North Korea. This emerging dictatorship must be nipped in the bud early. Otherwise the UNHRC will have to again take damage control action after the event.

UNHRC and the international community must prevail upon the Sri Lankan government to stop its gross human rights abuses and allow a free and fair election.

CC: United Nations Human Rights Council
CC: Embassy of the United States, High Commissions of the United Kingdom and India