Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, CPA Executive Director, receives death threat

Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, CPA Executive Director, receives death threat

20th August 2009, Colombo, Sri Lanka: The Executive Director of the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA), Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu this morning received an anonymous death threat written in English, posted to his residence. According to the contents of the letter, Dr. Saravanamuttu WILL (emphasis in original) be killed because Sri Lanka stands to be deprived of the European Union’s GSP Plus benefits in October, with resultant job losses, due to information supplied by Dr. Saravanamuttu to Ms. Benita Ferrero-Waldner, the EU’s Commissioner for External Relations. A scanned copy of both the letter and the post-marked envelope have been uploaded to our website – www.cpalanka.org.

We unreservedly deplore this despicable attempt at causing fear through the use of threats of physical harm, and through such acts, to stifle free expression, dissent and debate. We are equally concerned over the increasing emasculation of the civil society space for the discussion of public policy choices.

It is contemptible that CPA’s position, held consistently and publicly with regard to the policy and legal issues involved in the extension of the GSP Plus scheme has been distorted so as to contrive a rationale for this letter.

CPA has consistently argued that the GSP Plus benefits MUST be renewed, and that Sri Lanka should use the opportunity to also strengthen its human rights protection framework by complying with international law. We regret that our constructive contribution to this public policy debate has been perversely distorted and deliberately misunderstood in some quarters.

Dr. Saravanamuttu and the CPA will be lodging complaints with the relevant authorities for speedy investigation and necessary remedial action in this matter.

Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, CPA Executive Director, receives death threat

Centre for Policy Alternatives

The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) was formed in 1996 in the firm belief that there is an urgent need to strengthen institution- and capacity-building for good governance and conflict transformation in Sri Lanka and that non-partisan civil society groups have an important and constructive contribution to make to this process. Focusing primarily on issues of governance and conflict resolution, CPA is committed to programmes of research and advocacy through which public policy is critiqued, alternatives identified and disseminated.