[ View the story "Sri Lankans call to #FreeRukiAndPriest " on Storify] Sri Lankans call to #FreeRukiAndPriest Netizens demand the release of two human rights activists arrested by country's anti-terrorist police.
The Stream· Mon, Mar 17 2014 12:21:19
Ruki is a peaceful HR Defender. The time has come for the Sri Lankan Catholic Church leaders to wake up and stand by him.#freeRukiandPriestManoj Mathew
A wonderful friend anf human tights defender Ruki Fernando has been arrested in Sri Lanka. #freeRukiFernandoLineo Tsikoane
@shiharaneez Utterly outrageous. Tireless peace workers labeled "extremist"
SL's answer to #HRC25 #freeRukiandPriestMytili Bala
#SriLanka's govt hits a new low in repression: Arrest of rights defender & a priest on spurious "terrorism" charges
Sri Lanka has struggled to strike a balance between national security and human rights throughout its nearly three decade-long war between the Sinhalese government and ethnic Tamil rebels.
Fernando and Mahesan's arrests come as the United States is preparing to sponsor a
at the UN Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva this month, calling for an international investigation into alleged war crimes and human rights violations. The Sri Lankan activists' role in advocating for victims' rights has left some online sceptical over the reasons for their detention.
What are the 'terrorism' acts committed by Ruki & Fr. Praveen? Documenting missing persons in the north? #FreeRuki #Lka #HRC25Pd.
Ironic that #ruki may b charged with “fermenting ethnic disharmony” when he, a Sinhalese was helping a 13 yr old Tamil girl whose mum jailedFrances Harrison
@ICJ_org: Is #SriLanka government so scared of UN scrutiny it's now arresting human rights defenders on spurious charges? #Ruki #FrPraveenSam Zarifi
Both Fernando and Mahesan have worked closely with Christian minorities, some of whom, along with Sri Lankan Muslims, have fallen victim to a new brand of hardline Buddhism, an issue recently discussed on The Stream:
The violent side of Sri Lankan BuddhismThe Stream uncovers the roots of Sri Lanka's violent, hardline Buddhists.
The ethnic, religious and political tensions have raised concerns about the future of rights activists in Sri Lanka:
If Ruki is also detained by police in kilinochchi, I fear if all dissenting voices & campaigners will hv to be ready for worse. who's next?Mohamed Hisham
@mhmhisham The one who open his mouth against this :)Water Boy
The Sri Lankan government says it is promoting ethnic unity, and President Mahinda Rajapaksa has
there is no need for a war crimes investigation, and that the West's attention on its rights record is undue.
or get a detention order from the president to keep Fernando and Mahesan on national security charges in the three days after their arrest, or release them.