APWLD Secretariat has received a report from our member National Fisheries Solidarity Movement (NAFSO) about the situation of NAFSO leader Mr. Herman Kumara. Mr. Kumara, a long time activist for fisherfolk, particularly women, has been an APWLD workshop participant on documentation and advocacy for fisherwomen and women IDPs. He subsequently attended the Human Rights Council session in September 2011 to report on human rights violations of women in IDP camps.
Mr. Kumara has reported receiving repeated threats and intimidation, as well as being under surveillance since February 2012 following protests by fisherfolk in the Chilaw (Puttalam district) and Negombo (Gampaha district) areas. They were protesting an increase in fuel prices by the Sri Lankan government.
An official complaint was filed at the Pannala Police Station and an English translation of his written statement has been posted on the Asian Human Rights Commission website.
APWLD condemns these human rights violations and urges the Sri Lankan government to:
1. Ensure a full investigation is immediately conducted into Mr. Kumara’s complaint filed with police;
2. Ensure the safety and security of Mr. Kumara, his family and staff of NAFSO;
3. Uphold the rights of human rights defenders under the Sri Lankan Constitution and follow its commitments as a signatory to international human rights instruments.
Letters of support may be sent through the Asian Human Rights Commission.
Please circulate this widely to your networks.
Asia Pacific Forum on Women Law and Development
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