Colombo: Nava Sama Samaja Party organises picket in front of Pakistani High Commission
The protest in solidarity with the ‘Hunza Five’ on Tuesday 26 June, organised by the Nava Sama Samaja Party (NSSP — Sri Lanka section of the Fourth International) was a resounding success.
More than 30 activists, including Western Provincial Councillor Waruna Deepthi Rajapakse of the Frontline Socialist Party, representing political organisations, trade unions and human rights organisations participated in the campaign outside the Pakistan High Commission in Colombo.
A large banner with the message “Protect the Lives and Release the “Hunza Five” — Free Baba Jan and other Labour Party Pakistan activists” was displayed opposite the chancery building, while several placards were carried.
There was a heavy police presence, with high ranking officers observing the protest, but there was no obstruction or harassment of the protestors.
A petition addressed to the President of Pakistan was submitted through the High Commissioner by General-Secretary of the NSSP, Vickramabahu Karunarathne, and received by a senior official of the mission.
The appeal was signed by political leaders from the Nava Sama Samaja Party, Democratic Peoples Front (Mano Ganesan), Frontline Socialist Party (Pubudu Jayagoda) and United Socialist Party (Siritunga Jayasuriya) among others; trade unionists including Anton Marcus (Free Trade Zone General Services Employees Union); Linus Jayatileka and Saranapala Silva (United Federation of Labour); Niel Wijethilake (United General Employees Union); Dharmasiri Lankapeli (Federation of Media Employees Trade Unions); and human rights defenders Nimalka Fernando (International Movement against Discrimination and all forms of Racism) and Brito Fernando (Right to Life).
The signatories demanded that the Government of Pakistan:
* Protect the lives and human rights of the Hunza Five!
* Drop the false charges against the Hunza Five!
* Release immediately the Hunza Five!
* Pay fair compensation to, and deliver the needs of, the Attabad landslide victims!
(Photo credit: Dharmasiri Lankapeli)