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Amnesty wants Lanka candidates to uphold human rights

Press Trust of India  |  Colombo 

London-based rights group Amnesty International has asked Sri Lanka's presidential candidates to publicly commit to respect human rights in the run up to the January 8 presidential elections.

"Amnesty International called on all candidates to make a firm commitment to end the wide spread human rights violations that have plagued Sri Lanka for decades, eliminate climate of impunity which facilitates these violations and abuses and combat ethnic, religious and gender based discrimination and violence", a statement issued by the rights group said.

Amnesty said ending impunity which exists at all levels in Sri Lanka is crucial.

The statement also urged the repealing of the 18th amendment to the constitution which lifted among other things the bar on incumbent Mahinda Rajapaksa to seek a third term.

Opposition unity candidate Maithripala Sirisena has pledged to repeal the 18th amendment and restore the 17th amendment which de-politicised Sri Lanka's key democratic institutions.

President Rajapaksa called a snap election two years ahead of the schedule.

First Published: Sat, December 13 2014. 16:56 IST