Aug 05, Colombo: The United Kingdom joined by several other European countries denounced the disruption of a civil society meeting attended by the families of missing persons in Sri Lanka yesterday in Colombo.
Issuing a joint statement with the embassies of France, Germany, and Switzerland the UK High Commission in Colombo strongly condemned the disruption by an organized group including monks of the get-together on the theme "Sharing and listening session with families of the disappeared" organized by Families of the Disappeared in the Centre for Society and Religion on the 4th of August 2014.
The joint statement said, as was noted in the statement by the U.S. Embassy yesterday, the organized group made forced entry into the room where the discussions were taking place, shouting violently.
The U.S. Embassy in Sri Lanka yesterday expressed concern over the disruption of the meeting and urged the government to enforce the rule of law and permit all citizens to exercise their most basic human rights, including freedom of speech and freedom of assembly.
Over 30 family members of disappeared persons having travelled from the Northern Province, members of civil society and NGOs as well as members of the diplomatic community were in the premises when the disruption took place.
The statement said that all those present felt that their security was under threat.
The European embassies urged the Sri Lankan government to "ensure and respect freedom of assembly and expression," in the island nation and assure the security of the participants.
"We sincerely hope that the security of those having travelled from the Northern Province to share their experience will be assured upon their return," the joint statement said.