Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa president announced that he will further expand the role of the defence department, as he assigned the Immigration and Emigration Department to Defence State Minister, and brother, Chamal Rajapaksa.
The move further expands the control of the powerful defence department, which already was granted control of state institutions that govern for non-governmental organisations, as well as the technology, telecommunications and media agencies.
A total of 31 state institutions are now under the purview of Sri Lanka’s defence ministry.
The latest move will be particularly troubling for Tamil asylum seekers, who face a particular risk of torture and human rights abuses at the hands of Sri Lanka’s security forces. Many are still attempting to flee the island, but face deportation from other states around the world.
Kamal Gunaratne, a former military commander accused of overseeing mass atrocities, is Sri Lanka’s defence secretary.