Sri Lanka is fast becoming a Zimbabwe in Asia with all types of anti-democratic elements firmly taking root in the country, says General Secretary of the United National Party, Tissa Attanayake, MP.
Condemning the pressure exerted by Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa on the independent media he said, `The government hierarchy has a habit of inviting media personnel to the Temple Trees, treating them and then telling them in a subtle way not to write anything critical of the government. Now they have the audacity to warn the independent media with bodily harm`.
Referring to what he described as the Government`s propaganda campaign against foreign diplomats and Amnesty International he said, it was Nimal Siripala de Silva the incumbent Leader of the House and Minister of Healthcare and Nutrition who raised a huge cry of protest in Parliament in 1991 at the then government saying it had not allowed AI to come to Sri Lanka.
He recalled how the then Prime Minister D.B. Wijetunga replied that AI was free to come to Sri Lanka at any time it chose. The INGO later came here and established its local office in the country.
The Mahinda Rajapaksa administration has displayed all the hallmarks of a quasi dictatorship similar to that in Zimbabwe. The government has no hesitation whatsoever, to victimize those who express the slightest dissent. The government abuses Human Rights and Fundamental Rights at their will, victimizes the free press, the opposition, trade unions and even the law enforcement officers at their whim and fancy. The government also warns foreign diplomats, he emphasized.
`The day the International Community will brand Sri Lanka as the Pariah State in Asia is not far away`, Mr. Attanayaka added.