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'Change of Presidents of Sri Lanka in 2022 did not lead to any improvement in the country's human rights records' - HRW

The World Report 2023 published by Human Rights Watch (HRW), details the continued repression in Sri Lanka under President Wickremesinghe.

In the 712-page World Report 2023, its 33rd edition, Human Rights Watch reviews human rights practices in close to 100 countries.

South Asia director at Human Rights Watch, Meenakshi Ganguly noted that, 

“President Ranil Wickremesinghe responded to calls for reform and accountability with repression,”

She also commented on international engagement noting that,

 “The foreign partners that Sri Lanka needs to help address its economic crisis should insist on fundamental human rights reforms and respect for the rule of law.”

During 2022, thousands of Sri Lankans took to the streets after years of misrule, impunity, and corruption undermined the rule of law and contributed to a severe economic crisis that threatened millions. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, long implicated in grave rights violations, stepped down in July. However, the new president, Ranil Wickremesinghe, cracked down on largely peaceful protests, imprisoned activists, and disregarded calls for justice for past violations.

President Wickremesinghe’s government has cracked down on dissent, including by using the notorious Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) to arbitrarily detain student activists. Although superficial amendments were made to the law in March, following years of domestic and international pressure, the government continued to stall on repeated commitments to repeal the law.

Read more at Human Rights Watch 

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