Wednesday, March 21, 2018 06:27:48 PM

The Gloves Are Off: Reactions to Ben Emmerson’s Statement on Torture, Counterterrorism

By Raisa Wickrematunge - Thu Jul 20, 2:56 am

Featured image courtesy Colombo Gazette

On July 14, 2017 the Special Rapporteur on human rights and counterterrorism, Ben Emmerson released a statement at the end of his visit to Sri Lanka, where he met with detainees, activists, and the Attorney General, the Chief Justice and High Court Judges.

Following his visit, there was some coverage in the media, with Daily Mirror and Sunday Times reporting on his statement. However, almost immediately, Minister of Justice and Buddhasasana Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe lashed out in response, saying Emmerson lacked “diplomatic qualities” and displayed an ‘army commander like’ approach. It was this statement that got significantly more coverage.

On Tuesday, it was reported that President Sirisena’s main concern was on who had permitted Emmerson to meet LTTE detainees. This statement again received coverage in the mainstream media.

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