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'Rajapaksa's election has closed every door to human rights and accountability in Sri Lanka'

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Photograph: Centre for Justice and Accountability.

The daughter of murdered Sri Lankan journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge said that “Rajapaksa’s election has closed every door to human rights and accountability in Sri Lanka” in a piece for the Washington Post this week, as she called for the international community to ensure “murderous autocrats pay a price”.

“I hold Rajapaksa responsible,” wrote Ahimsa Wickrematunge.

“Victims groups and the international community are well aware that Rajapaksa’s election has closed every door to human rights and accountability in Sri Lanka.”

“The high commissioner for human rights and U.N. special rapporteurs warn that without strong international action by foreign governments and the Human Rights Council — including sanctions, travel bans and an independent international accountability mechanism — Sri Lankans face the alarming risk of seeing past human rights abuses repeated,” she continued.

“Foreseeing his own murder, my father wrote himself an obituary in which he lamented that murder had “become the primary tool” for controlling “the organs of liberty.” Twelve years later, with those very same organs on life support, it is high time for the world to draw a red line at the killing of journalists and ensure that murderous autocrats pay a price.”

“But today, as I watch the killers of heroes like Anna Politkovskaya, Jamal Khashoggi and my father rub shoulders on the world stage, it seems that killing a journalist is just another rite of passage for emerging autocrats.”

Read her full piece here.

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