Concerns as Sri Lanka arrests top protest leader Joseph Stalin

by | Aug 4, 2022 | World

Colombo, Sri Lanka – The arrest of a top protest leader as part of an ongoing crackdown and intimidation of people protesting against the government over the country’s worst economic crisis in decades has raised concerns.Joseph Stalin, the secretary of the Sri Lanka Teachers’ Union, was arrested from his office in the capital Colombo on Wednesday.
Stalin was arrested for participating in a large protest march on May 28 to mark 50 days since the launch of “aragalaya”, the Sinhala word for “struggle”, demanding the resignation of the government over the economic meltdown.
Stalin is the most senior trade union leader to be arrested since Ranil Wickremesinghe took over the presidency on July 20 following the resignation of Gotabaya Rajapaksa on July 14.
But the protesters, who blame the Rajapaksas for the island’s crisis, accuse Wickremesinghe of protecting the clan and want him to quit as well.
“The ongoing crackdown on dissent in Sri Lanka by the government of Ranil Wickremesinghe is worse than any under Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s administration,” said Alan Keenan, a senior Sri Lanka consultant for the International Crisis Group.
Mary Lawler, the United Nations special rapporteur on human rights, called the arrest “disturbing”.
“The work of human rights defenders like Joseph has been more important than ever in recent weeks and must be supported, not punished,” she tweeted.
‘Ranil too should be arrested’
On May 28, tens of thousands of students, teachers, trade unionists, artists and activists walked for several kilometres, …

Article Attribution | Read More at Article Source

Share This