Through the presentation of manifestos for the general election by the main political parties, it is evident that the attention has been given to securing human rights in varied levels. The Nation spoke to the politicians, contesting for the coming general election to probe their personal contributions and understandings towards securing human rights.
Wije Dias Socialist Equality Party
The Socialist Equality Party has always considered securing human rights as an important part in the party’s roles. We have always tried to educate people about their rights and have stood against the people who violate human rights. We have always pointed out the events of social injustice. During the period of the war, we were strict in our principle that the war should be immediately stopped considering the human rights of Tamils.
Securing women’s rights also receives top priority in our party practices. Sri Lankan women are oppressed by capitalistic social structure as well as the patriarchy. In addition, women who are discriminated and insulted due the abuses they face should also be given special attention.
Sunil Watagala Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna
Considering the political parties in the country, I believe it’s fair to say that our party becomes number one in fighting for human rights. We have stood against number of human rights violation cases in the history as well as the recent days.
To name some, reason events take Wellampitiya garbage disposal issue and the Atomic Energy Authority laboratory at Halbarawa Freedom of speech and the right for information should be further promoted. The JVP, under the Socialist Women’s Union, gives attention to women’s rights as well as the children’s rights. We should look into the reason why people are so lethargic in fighting for their rights.
Duminda Nagamuwa Frontline Socialist Party
Our view is that Sri Lanka should accept all universally-declared human rights as the basic human rights of the country. We are willing to declare our country as a capitalistic country but, we are not ready to accept the human rights followed by the capitalistic countries.
People who are being discriminated, socially unaccepted and victims of injustice should be given special attention. They should be given special privileges. Our party has given attention to all these aspects disregarded by the governments existed.
Shanthini Kongahage United National Party
Notice the changes happened in the country after the presidential election it can be seen that our country is now headed in the right direction in securing human rights. Our priority as a party is linked with the word ‘freedom’. Our motive is to create an environment with freedom and justice. We have already taken the first few steps towards this goal during the last few months.
Best example is the media freedom in both electronic and print media. Media is free to report what they want to report. They are even free to criticize the president or even the prime minister of the country. This is something we didn’t witness during the last regime. The white van culture is no more, people can feel the change. People have started to feel their freedom.
Samanmalee Sakalasuriya Sri Lanka Freedom Party
An example of how our party, the SLFP, and also the UPFA have contributed to securing human rights is ending the war. They brought peace to the country and established proper human rights in the country.
We need to work towards a better future, with peace, prosperity and security. We need bigger social discussions, social platforms and social interactions. We need to be more educated towards human rights.”
Suresh Premachandran Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi
“We are at the forefront where human rights are concerned. Tamil people have been widely affected. With regard to women’s rights, we strongly support women’s rights and equal rights. We have been always fighting against domestic violence, sexual harassment and gender inequality.
Hasan Ali Sri Lanka Muslim Congress
“We have always been fighting for human rights. Whenever there were Bills regarding human rights, the SLMC always supported themWe don’t have a legal support unit, but through NGOs we have been supportive and have addressed human rights issues. Being a minority party, we have been against regimes that didn’t address human rights issues, and we definitely see an improvement now.