Rajapaksa persecuted critics


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United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations Samantha Power Wednesday blasted the Mahinda Rajapaksa government for governing largely through divisiveness and fear.

She alleged that that the Rajapaksa government had persecuted critics. "In January 2015, the people of Sri Lanka went to the polls to elect a new president.

The Rajapaksa administration had governed largely through divisiveness and fear and it had persecuted critics", she said.

She said that Sri Lanka's new government moved swiftly to show it was serious about living up to its commitments from stopping harassment of

human rights defenders and journalists to exposing rampant corruption.

Samantha Power was addressing the Open Government Parnership Global Summit in Mexico city on Wednesday. Excerpts of her speech:

"The new government moved swiftly to show it was serious about living up to its commitments, from stopping harassment of human rights defenders and journalists, to exposing rampant corruption. The impact was immediate. A labor organizer who had gone into hiding during the Rajapaksa administration's rule resumed his work, saying he no longer feared being targeted for what he was doing. A journalist who had been routinely harassed for his reporting said, "the fear has gone."

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