Platform for Freedom:

Let People Live and Speak!

“……In this very difficult period more and more human rights defenders either became silent witnesses or left the country for protection. Media activists were hounded and forced to live in self exile. Trade Unions were silenced and marginalized. Massive vilification campaign is used against Human Rights Defenders and the Opposition political parties.

In this backdrop we realized that during this extremely dangerous and difficult situation there lies an opportunity to build a broadest possible coalition to protect democratic rights and only the human rights defenders can spearheaded that movement. Therefore all our energy was focused on to build and sustain a national coalition for democracy titled “Platform for Freedom”. Platform for Freedom was an initiative by the civil society leaders who act as conveners and it was intended to work with trade unionists, media organizations and opposition political parties on the common theme: “Let People Live and Speak!”.  Objective was to build a common front to protect Right to Live and Freedom of Expression.

The first public meeting of the Platform for Freedom was held on 7th April 2009 in Colombo. It was organized to mark the 4 months period of assassination of Lasantha Wickramathunga. This was seen as the newly event organized to protest the excesses of the government. Platform for Freedom launched a public poster campaign parallel to this event. Civil Society leaders, Opposition political party leaders and media organization representatives addressed the meeting. Second meeting was conducted in Kandy followed by the meetings in Negombo, Talawakele, Kurunegala, Anuradhapura, Chilaw, Gampaha, Matale and Matara.

Platform for Freedom facilitated meetings with the civil society leadership and the leaders of the opposition parties. We commenced consultations in the districts to discuss the five precepts titled ‘Commitment for Change” which was submitted to the political party leaders to be served as a basis for an understanding. This effort paved the way to legitimise the opposition parties in the eyes of the people but in the same time it gave an opportunity to the human rights defenders to re claim the space.  ….”

Facilitated the 1st press conference of Platform for freedom conducted on 02 nd February 2009 at the National Library Auditorium.

We believe that human right protecting is not a battle to be fought alone. Therefore to ensure the freedom of speech and right to life we organized a broad coalition of civil society activist, media organizations, political parties gathered under the name of “Platform for Freedom.”