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Sri Lanka Supreme Court extends travel ban on Mahinda and Basil Rajapaksa until August 4th

Sri Lanka's Supreme Court extended a travel ban imposed on the former president and credibly accused war criminal Mahinda Rajapaksa and his brother, ex-minister Basil Rajapaksa, until August 4.

The Supreme Court previously extended the ban until August 2.  

The former president landed in Singapore on July 14 on a Saudi flight from the Maldives and was provided a 14-day visit pass. This visit pass was extended by another 14 days and is set to expire on August 11. 

The travel ban extension against Rajapaksa comes amidst growing calls from human rights activists, organizations and politicians for Rajapaksa to be prosecuted for international crimes whilst in Singapore. The former president and one of the leading architects of the Mullivaikkal Massacre - where as many as 169,796 Tamils were massacred - fled Sri Lanka in response to large-scale protests regarding Sri Lanka's recent economic crisis. While in Singapore, Rajapaksa resigned from his presidential post forfeiting any immunity that formerly sheltered him from legal prosecutions. 

Tamil human rights advocates fear that if he is allowed to return to Sri Lanka, where successive governments have refused to prosecute anyone for genocidal atrocities against Tamils, he could escape prosecution once more. 

The International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP) filed a criminal complaint to Singapore's Attorney-General, seeking Rajapaksa's "immediate arrest" for committing war crimes. 

Last week, 17 Tamil and human rights organizations issued a joint letter demanding Singapore's Attorney General's Chambers to investigate and prosecute Gotabaya Rajapaksa for his involvement in international crimes during the culmination of the Tamil Genocide in 2009. 

British lawmaker and Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils, Elliot Colburn wrote to the Attorney General of Singapore yesterday, calling on the country’s authorities to arrest the former Sri Lankan president. 

“I urge you on behalf of UK parliamentarians to take immediate action to arrest Mr Rajapakse, seize his passport, and launch an investigation into the credible allegations against him.” 

The favourite to win Canada's Conservative Party leadership contest pledged to "bring the full weight of the Government of Canada" to ensure an international tribunal for Sri Lanka's genocide of Tamils and called for Gotabaya Rajapaksa to be arrested in Singapore.

“With former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa now in Singapore, I join with Sri Lankan human rights advocates in their demands for his arrest, and would bring the full weight of the Government of Canada to bear toward justice before an international court or tribunal.” 

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