Berlin, 30 September 2008
Transparency International (TI) today vehemently condemned the attempt on the life of J. C. Weliamuna, prominent Sri Lankan anti-corruption and human rights advocate, and Executive Director of TI Sri Lanka (TISL), following a grenade attack on his family’s home in Colombo late Saturday, 27 September. Weliamuna, his wife and two young children escaped injury.
TI is deeply concerned by this attempt to intimidate anti-corruption and human rights advocates, and all those who dedicate their lives to building a better future for Sri Lanka. TI calls on the government of Sri Lanka to ensure a fair, speedy and transparent investigation, and to take all necessary steps to ensure the safety of Weliamuna, his family and the personnel of TI Sri Lanka.
The bombing of Weliamuna’s home is the latest episode in a continuing wave of harassment of activists, journalists and civil society – seen as a concerted effort to curb the freedom of expression in Sri Lanka – although the precise motives of Saturday’s perpetrator remains unclear.
TI, currently participating in a meeting on the protection of anti-corruption advocates being held in Helsinki at the invitation of the Finnish government, condemns all intimidation tactics against anti-corruption advocates, from professional discrimination to physical threats.
TI remains in constant contact with Weliamuna, tracking events as they unfold.
Note to editors: A further obligation for the government of Sri Lanka to investigate the attack arises from the UN Convention against Corruption, which Sri Lanka has ratified. Article 13 of the Convention obliges signatory states to protect anti-corruption advocates and ensure “the freedom to … publish and disseminate information concerning corruption”.