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Sri Lanka protests: Government accused of using emergency powers to “arbitrarily detain activists”

CA, 07 Aug 2022
Hundreds of pro-democracy activists marched to the town of Nugegoda on the outskirts of Sri Lanka's capital Colombo on Saturday, demanding the release of detained demonstrators and an end to the state of emergency imposed by the government of President Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Activists accuse the government of cracking down on protesters who helped topple the government of Gotabaya Rajapaksa last month.

A New York Times report this week said several demonstration leaders have been arrested and others had received travel bans as authorities try to clear up the last remaining protest tents near the prime minister's office.

Earlier this week, Human Rights Watch said the Sri Lankan government was "using emergency regulations to harass and arbitrarily detain activists seeking political reform and accountability for the country’s economic crisis."

The New York Times said that among those arrested are Joseph Stalin, a leader of a teacher's union and Mahanama Thero, a Buddhist monk - both considered to have been at the forefront of the protest movement.

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