Help peaceful Sri Lankan protesters oppressed by Rajapaksa regime

Help peaceful Sri Lankan protesters oppressed by Rajapaksa regime

5 April 2022
Petition to
Senator the Hon Marise Payne (Minister for Foreign Affairs) and 6 others
Signatures: 10,570Next goal: 15,000
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Why this petition matters

Urge the Australian Government to request the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) to Respect People's Rights

The community living in Australia with Sri Lankan heritage is urging Australian Government to request GOSL to honour the rights for peaceful protests while ensuring freedom of speech, access to social media and refrain from heavy handling by using police and security forces. 

Over the past few months Sri Lankans are suffering from severe shortages of food, fuel, medicine and other essentials along with record inflation and crippling power cuts for over 12 hours a day mainly due to the mismanagement and corruption of Rajapaksa family members who hold all key positions in the Government.

Members of the Rajapaksa dynasty paralysing Sri Lanka with impunity over the last 20 years include the following conspicuous figures:

  • President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa
  • Prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa (President’s second eldest brother)
  • Finance minister Basil Rajapaksa (President’s younger brother)
  • Minister of irrigation Chamal Rajapaksa (President’s eldest brother)
  • Minister of Youth & Sports Namal Rajapaksa (President’s nephew/ Prime minister’s son)
  • State Minister of Paddy and Cereals, Organic Food, Vegetables, Fruits, Chilies, Onions and Potatoes, Seed Production and High-Tech Agriculture Shasheendra Rajapaksa (President’s nephew/ Irrigation Minister’s son)
  • Member of parliament Nimpuna Ranawaka (President’s nephew)
  • Prime minister’s chief of staff naval officer Yoshitha Rajapaksha (President’s nephew/ Prime minister’s son)

Sri Lankans, young and old, exhausted by the continuous and unbearable hardships and corruption, all over the country took to the streets demanding the stepping down of the Rajapaksa family. Rajapaksa’s responded violently to the peaceful protests by introducing national security laws enabling heavy handling of citizens by security forces, imposing 36-hour island wide curfews, and blocking access to social media.  We have witnessed the continuous deterioration of democratic values under the Rajapaksa regime.

Rajapaksas’ lack of commitment to justice democratic values and human rights has often been challenged nationally and internationally including by the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) who found fault with how laws were being made under the Rajapaksa brothers in Sri Lanka. 

The Australian Sri Lankan community is extremely concerned about the current situation in Sri Lanka not only as their families back home are being oppressed but also the Australians in Sri Lanka now visiting family are caught up with the unfolding civil unrest.   

We therefore urge the Australian Government to request the GOSL to uphold human rights of its citizens and refrain from any unscrupulous activities against the island wide protests so that the safety of both Sri Lankans and Australians currently in the country is ensured. 

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Signatures: 10,570Next goal: 15,000
Support now

Decision makers

  • Senator the Hon Marise PayneMinister for Foreign Affairs
  • Ross Vasta MPChair of Standing Committee on Procedure
  • Milton Dick MPDeputy Chair of Standing Committee on Procedure
  • Julian Hill MPDeputy Chair of Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit
  • Julie Owens MPFederal Member for Parramatta