Sri Lanka insists on a domestic process following withdrawal from UN resolution

Speaking at 44 th Session of the UN Human Rights Council, a delegate for Sri Lanka responded to the Core Group’s (UK, Canada, Germany, North Macedonia and Montenegro) expression of “profound disappointment” by insisting that Sri Lanka would only commit to purely domestic process aligned with the government’s policy framework. Whilst claiming that Sri Lanka is committed to “reconciliation, accountability and human rights”, the government rejected the co-sponsorship of the UN resolution, implying it was against the interest of Sri Lanka and “driven externally”. “We urge all parties once again...

Sri Lanka Prime Minister defends the dissolution of parliament whilst pleading for international assistance

Sri Lankan Prime Minister, Mahinda Rajapaksa, has the defended much criticised decision to dissolve parliament for over 6 months as he claims, “the hostile Parliament was not inclined to support the President”. Rajapaksa defence of the President’s actions came a speech in which he maintained that the “global community will need to come forward to assist all developing nations”. He further requested IMF and World Bank to provide a debt standstill to all developing nations for two years, claiming that such relief will allow for a rapid recovery. Sri Lanka’s current foreign debt repayments debt...

China signs another USD $140 million loan to Sri Lanka as debts pile up

Photograph: FT.lk Sri Lanka’s state-owned Bank of Ceylon entered a long-term facility with the China Development Bank, the largest development financial organisation in the world, for USD $140 million this week, as Colombo’s economic crisis worsened amidst piling debt repayments. Kanchana Ratwatte, Bank of Ceylon’s chairman, said the loan “will be utilised for supplementing Bank of Ceylon’s general lending requirements, which will provide much needed support for businesses affected by COVID-19”. “The funds will mainly be utilised to help businesses that need support for revival in their...

Former Sri Lankan cricket captain summoned over match fixing claims

Sri Lanka’s Cricket World Cup final match-fixing controversy has taken yet another twist today with former captain Kumar Sangakarra the latest individual to be summoned by the Special Investigation Unit of the Sports Ministry, after allegations of match fixing by Sri Lanka’s former Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage. Sangakarra will follow both former opener Upul Tharanga and selector Aravinda de Silva in giving statements on the most recent debacle within Sri Lankan cricket. As confirmed by KDS Ruwanachandra, current sport ministry secretary, the investigation is “handled by the independent Special Investigation Unit on sports-related offences.”

Sri Lankan police arrest Tamil youth for ‘regrouping the LTTE’

Sri Lankan security forces have arrested more than a dozen Tamil youth on charges of attempting to “regroup the LTTE,” as a military crackdown took place in the North this week. Amongst those arrested is a 17-year-old Tamil child.

EU does not lift travel restrictions on Sri Lanka despite ‘active lobbying’

The European Union (EU) has decided not to lift their ban on travel from Sri Lanka due to the coronavirus pandemic, despite the Sri Lankan embassy in Brussels “actively lobbying for Sri Lanka’s inclusion in the list”. The EU has begun to gradually lift the temporary restrictions it had imposed on non-essential travel into the region, with Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stating it had been “actively lobbying for Sri Lanka’s inclusion in the list”. “The Embassy was further informed that the list will be progressively expanded depending on the progress made in the epidemiological...

Buddhist monk praises Rajapaksa's 'discipline and respect' for Buddhist Sanga whilst human rights organisations warn against increasing authoritarianism

Buddhist monk, Ralapanawe Dhammajothi, applauded Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa for maintain “discipline and respect” for the Buddhist Sanga whilst further claiming that “no one could impede the President’s endeavour to redirect the country”. The monk further claimed that Rajapaksa firm stance whilst “all others merely criticise others”. This statement comes as human rights organisations warn against a brutal repression of free speech and as the government has announced a much-criticised, all Sinhala Buddhist task force in the East of Sri Lanka to ‘‘preserve the historical heritage of...

Vavuniya families of disappeared demand international justice for missing loved ones

The families of the disappeared in Vavuniya came together to protest and call for the Sri Lankan government to be brought to the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands. They gathered near the Vavuniya Old Bus Stand, yesterday morning as an increasing number of family members have died recently without seeing justice for their loved ones.

UN Human Rights Chief 'dismayed' by stigmatisation of Muslims in Sri Lanka

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, said she was dismayed by reports of the stigmatisation of Muslims in Sri Lanka, in a statement at the 44th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). "In Sri Lanka and India, members of the Muslim minority are being targeted by stigma and hate speech associating them with COVID-19," the UN Chief said in her global update on human rights and the impact of COVID-19 pandemic. She noted that in many countries, including Bulgaria, Pakistan and Haiti, members of minority communities and migrants face increasing...

Repression of dissent on the rise in Sri Lanka

INFORM Human Rights Documentation Centre recorded a rise in the repression of dissent in Sri Lanka during the month of May in their latest report. The report highlights that Tamils were disproportionately targeted, particularly around Mullivaikkal remembrance events, where the Tamil community were intimidated and harassed by Sri Lankan police and military personnel. Read more here: Sri Lankan police block Mullivaikkal memorial in Batticaloa. Read more here: Sri Lankan police halt another Mullivaikkal remembrance event in Batticaloa. Read more here: Sri Lankan soldiers stamp out Mullivaikkal...

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