Apr 26, Colombo: The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) expressing shock over the Easter Sunday's suicide bomb attacks on country's churches and hotels, urged the police to prevent serious human rights violations in the aftermath of the terror.
The Commission in a letter to the Inspector General of the Police pointed out that sectarian violence could be instigated by anti-social elements who, for personal revenge or narrow political gains, wish to exploit the tense situation that has arisen in the country. "That would amount to an unbearable national tragedy," the Commission said.
Following is the full text of the letter to the IGP:
The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka is extremely shocked by the terrifying terror attacks perpetrated at several places on Easter Sunday.
We honour the memory of the police officers who lost their lives while carrying out their duties, and extend our heartfelt condolences to you, to all fellow officers and members of the bereaved families.
When considering the challenges that face our society in the aftermath of these incidents, our Commission is of the view that the main challenge is to prevent religious division and resulting violence as well as promoting communal harmony. Therefore, we are of the opinion that the Commission's main duty is to prevent serious violations of human rights that would result from such tensions and violence.
Accordingly, our Commission's Head Office and the ten Regional Offices will liaise with regional civil society organizations and relevant State institutions in order to make interventions in areas where there is unrest on the basis of religious divisions and to act as a body to facilitate communication among those communities. We will also be intensifying previous measures taken by the Commission to promote communal harmony and peaceful co-existence.
Nevertheless, it is the Police Department which is empowered by the law to prevent such violent activities. We sincerely hope that your attention has been drawn in that regard.
We firmly acknowledge that investigations to identify the perpetrators of these crimes should be given your primary attention. At the same time, we recognize that violence could be instigated by anti-social elements who, for personal revenge or narrow political gains, wish to exploit the tense situation that has arisen in the country. That would amount to an unbearable national tragedy.
We request the full cooperation of the Police Department in regard to the proposed activities of the Commission, and anticipate your full commitment to prevent any possible religious violence.
Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka