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* US says Sri Lanka detaining rights activists convince an international investigation is necessary
Mon, Mar 17, 2014, 07:20 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 17, Colombo: The United States Government today expressed concern about the arrests and detention of several well-known Sri Lankan human rights defenders and activists over the past week by the authorities.

Issuing a statement the US Embassy in Colombo urged the Sri Lankan government to follow due legal process over the arrests of the activists.

"We urge Sri Lankan government authorities to ensure that all those detained are given transparent and due legal process, including full access to legal counsel," the Embassy statement said.

The Terrorism Investigation Unit (TID) of Sri Lanka Police Sunday arrested Ruki Fernando, who works for Rights Now Collective for Democracy and a Catholic priest, Father Praveen and detained them under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA).

Earlier the police arrested an activist for missing persons in the North, Balendran Jayakumari for sheltering a former LTTE cadre who shot and injured a police officer on March 13.

The US said the arrests have convinced the US and the international community that an international investigation into Sri Lanka's alleged human rights violations by UN the Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is necessary.

"As we have noted many times in the recent past, both previous and on-going human rights concerns have led many in the international community to push for a UN Human Rights Council resolution on the situation in Sri Lanka. With these latest actions, we remain convinced that continued scrutiny by the Human Rights Council is necessary," the US government said.

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