Activist Lena Hendry convicted for screening “No Fire Zone” in Malaysia

Activist Lena Hendry was convicted in Malaysia for screening “No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka” without the approval of the Malaysian Censorship Board. Magistrate Mohd Rehan Mohd Aris stated that the defense had failed to raise a reasonable doubt in the case. Hendry said that she was disappointed in the decisions and seeks to appeal. Ivy Josiah, the National Human Rights Society’s executive committee member expressed her disappointment as well, stating, “The film had been shown everywhere in the world.” Hendry’s supporters were also present at the courthouse. One supporter held a...

ITJP reports operation of military “rape camps” in Sri Lanka

International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP) have released a report quoting three female victims who were used as sexual slaves by the Sri Lankan military over prolonged periods under custody. The cases occurred in 2007, 2009-2013 and 2012-2015 and include different sites: one near Vavuniya, one near Puttalam, one in Colombo and one outside of Colombo but not in the North or East. “Two of the women describe being detained in a group in one room, available for any soldier to come and chose from and take to an adjacent room or tent to be raped,” the report stated. “In two cases, the women...

UN committee on discrimination against women to review women's rights in Sri Lanka

The UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) is to review women’s rights in several countries signatory to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. The review for Sri Lanka is to take place on February 22 nd in Geneva. In a recent report to CEDAW, Sri Lanka responded to concerns and recommendations made by CEDAW in the fifth, sixth and seventh periodic reports. Some areas of concern expressed by CEDAW included: the legal status of the convention, prohibition of discrimination against women, discriminatory laws, national...

Sri Lanka’s leaders 'backtracking' on security sector refom – HRW

Human Rights Watch accused Sri Lankan leaders of backtracking on pledges made to the UN Human Rights Council over a year ago, as the government faces further scrutiny at Geneva later this month. “It’s crucial that the Human Rights Council consider closely whether Sri Lanka made progress in the security sector as well as its other commitments such as transitional justice,” said Brad Adams , the organisation’s Asia director, noting the lack of reforms made by Colombo. In particular, HRW highlighted the little change in the Sri Lankan security sector and the continued use of the Prevention of...

Schoolchildren across North protest in solidarity with Pilavu

Tamil school students across the North protested outside their schools on Monday morning in solidarity with the land return protestors at Pilavu and Puthukudiyirippu. The children called for the people of Pilavu's lands to be returned so that their peers could return to school. 'We want our land' 'We may die, but only in our motherland' 'Army withdraw' 'Is good governance leaving people in the streets?' 'Sri Lankan air force - leave the Pilakudiyirippu people's lands' 'Good governance regime - don't destroy the education of 54 students' 'Sri Lankan troops - stop sacrificing Tamil lands for '...

‘Burn Jaffna to the ground’ – A look through CIA reports

JR Jayewardene discussing the military assault on Jaffna with a commander. A set of recently declassified CIA reports reveal how Sri Lanka’s former president J R Jayewardene attempted to garner military support from the United States and position himself as a moderate dedicated to solving the island’s ethnic crisis, even as the Sri Lankan army was committing large scale human rights abuses in the North-East.

Families of missing protest in Kilinochchi

Relatives of the missing protested in Kilinochchi on Monday calling for information about the whereabouts of their loved ones.

Retired Sri Lankan army major charged of sexual assault in Hawaii

A retired Sri Lankan army major was charged of sexual assault in Hawaii whilst he was there on a training programme with the Disaster Management Center (DMC). The army major, who has not been named, was charged of sexually assaulting a female employee of the hotel where he was staying. He was arrested by local police before being charged and deported from the country. According to Colombo Page , the secretary of the ministry of disaster management said the army major had been temporarily suspended and an institution level inquiry would be conducted.

Vavuniya demonstration in solidarity with Mullaitivu land protests

A protest was held in Vavuniya last week run solidarity with the people of Mullaitivu, calling for the return of their lands.

Murdered journalist Sugirtharajan remembered in Batticaloa

Murdered journalist Sugirtharajan was remembered in Batticaloa following the 11th anniversary of his death on January 24th.