Oblate missionaries call for respect of human rights

A statement issued by the organisation yesterday expressed satisfaction for the release of OMI missionary Father Praveen Mahesan and activist Ruki Fernando, arrested by the police on March 16.

Sri Lanka
Mar 21 2014, 4:11 PM
Oblate missionaries call for respect of human rights
Justice and Peace Office officials of the OMI during a press meet.

The Justice and Peace Office of the General Curia of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI) has urged the Sri Lankan Government to ensure physical and psychological integrity and security of all human rights defenders in Sri Lanka.

A statement issued by the organisation yesterday expressed satisfaction for the release of OMI missionary Father Praveen Mahesan and activist Ruki Fernando, arrested by the police on March 16.

However, “concern for the perpetuation of abuse and sudden disappearances of activists” still exists, said the statement condemning all forms of impunity.

It also called for the immediate release of Ms. Balendran Jeyakumari, a Tamil woman who was carrying out a campaign against disappearances.

Father Praveen and Fernando were taken into custody after they sought to ensure the welfare of Jeyakumari’s 13-year-old daughter Balendran Vithushaini, who was ordered into probationary care following the arrest of her mother on March 13. Both mother and daughter were prominently featured in international media covering demonstrations by families whose members have disappeared.

The OMI statement asked the government to comply with the provisions of the UN Declaration on Human Rights in promoting human rights and fundamental freedoms of the individual in Sri Lanka.

A resolution on Sri Lanka’s failure to address accountability is under discussion at the 25th Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva and the international community will be shortly voting on it. 

Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the UN Office circulated a clarification statement on the arrest and detention of Jeyakumari to the UN Permanent Missions of other nations in Geneva besides the Sri Lankan government statement made at the ongoing UNHRC sessions.

Source: Agenzia Fides

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