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Sri Lanka stands to lose in a Philippines-style Drug War

Friday, 18 January 2019

In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity Movement (iDEFEND) expressed alarm over the approval of Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena of the government's war on drugs and saying he would like to adopt the same method in his country.

Ms. Judy Pasimio, spokesperson for iDEFEND said this means that the Sri Lankan president is prepared to take on the gruesome atrocities that have brought the Philippines before the International Criminal Court's scrutiny.

"This includes thousands extrajudicial killings, destruction of the rule of law, erosion of law enforcement professionalism, sexual assault, child abuse, corruption and deepened impunity for human rights violations; but most of all it means impoverished orphans and families as a result of the loss of family breadwinners and in most cases, the killing of both parents." Pasimio added that the destruction of the children's future may be a trauma from which Sri Lankan Society may never recover.

Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates Secretary General Ms. Rose Trajano reminded that Sri Lanka has barely recovered from the more than twenty years of civil war in the Tamil region. "Justice remains elusive for the victims of the civil war- the widows and orphans- as Sri Lanka struggles for national reconciliation and economic rebuilding, it has no need to be in the sights of global criticism once again."

iDEFEND stressed that the war on drugs in the Philippines had been proven to be a failure in all its aspects including the removal of illicit drugs in the country.

"We warn Asian leaders not to emulate the Philippine model, but adopt a humane, evidence-based, public health approach to the drugs issue through a rights based governance that strengthens, not erodes democratic institutions," Pasimio concluded.

Photo: iDEFEND Spokesperson Ms. Judy Pasimio

Photo credit: Philippine Human Rights Information Center (Philrights)