Sri Lankan army prepares to ‘quarantine foreigners’ in wake of coronavirus 

The Sri Lankan military announced it had set up “improvised quarantine centres” in the Eastern province, as it prepares to “quarantine foreigners and Sri Lankan expatriates arriving here” as part of measures to tackle transmission of the corona virus. Shavendra Silva, the war crimes accused head of the army who is subject to US travel sanctions, travelled to the Polonnaruwa and Batticaloa districts on Monday morning, as he inspected the makeshift camps the military had constructed.

‘Not even a scratch’ on surrendered Tamils claims former Sri Lankan army commander

The former commander of Sri Lanka’s army Daya Ratnayake has lashed out at the United Nations and staunchly brushed off reports of mass atrocities committed by Sri Lankan troops, calling them “completely baseless and fabricated”. Ratnayake, the current chairman of Sri Lanka’s Ports Authority, told the Daily Mirror that he felt “betrayed” by the former regime as it co-sponsored a UN resolution on accountability. “Not only me but all soldiers feel betrayed,” he said. “People outside Sri Lanka think we are barbarians.” He went on to claim that the Sri Lankan military had “carried out the world’s...

Former Sri Lankan Finance Minister to be arrested

Former Finance Minister, Ravi Karunanayake, has been issued an arrest warrant for bond fraud. The judgement was delivered by Colombo Fort Chief Magistrate Ranga who claims that the former Finance Minister as well as former Central Bank Governor, Arjun Mahendran, were involved in fraud at a bond auction on 29 and 31 March 2016. The Chief Minister has ordered the arrest of both Karunanayake, Mahendran and 8 others. Sarath Fonseka, UNP MP and accused war criminal has claimed that the Minister has no options available and has chosen to go into hiding. Criminal Investigations Department (CID)...

Sri Lankan President promises safety for women despite record levels of violence

Sri Lankan President, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, claimed yesterday during International Women’s Day that he would work to create an equal platform for women, free from violence, despite record levels of sexual violence. Amnesty International has reported that in just the first 15 days of 2020, there have already been 142 cases of rape, 42 cases of “serious sexual abuse” and 54 cases of child abuse. Amnesty notes that “impunity for sexual and gender-based violence is high in Sri Lanka, despite repeated assurances by consecutive governments to address the issue”. According to the government’s own...

‘Impunity for sexual and gender-based violence is high in Sri Lanka’ says Amnesty International

“Impunity for sexual and gender-based violence is high in Sri Lanka, despite repeated assurances by consecutive governments to address this issue,” Amnesty International wrote in a blog marking International Women’s Day. The rights group highlighted that just in the first 15 days of 2020, 142 cases of rape, and 42 cases of serious sexual abuse, and 54 child abuse cases were reported. “The total number of rape cases in the country is much higher because many go unreported. A large number of cases also sit with the Attorney General’s department, while only a smaller percentage of the cases make...

Sri Lankan soldier jailed for massacre of Tamils set to be released, claim local newspapers

At least two local Sri Lankan newspapers have reportedly claimed that the government is set to release a soldier who was sentenced to death over the massacre of eight Tamil civilians. The papers claim that Staff Sergeant Sunil Rathnayake is to be granted a Presidential pardon by Gotabaya Rajapaksa, though a date has not yet been set for the move. Rathnayake was sentenced to death in 2015 for the murder of the 8 Tamils, including 2 children, in the town of Mirusuvil. The Tamils had been arrested by Sri Lankan security forces on the10th of December 2000. The following day their bodies were...

‘Nearly 70 dead within three years in search for disappeared’ - JDS

“A large number of Tamils in Sri Lanka have died while in protest demanding the government to reveal the fate of their loved ones who are victims of enforced disappearances,”Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka (JDS) reports. “Already 69 mothers in our protest have died due to stress and various illnesses without finding solution to their grievances,” Leeladevi Anandanadaraja, the General Secretary of the Association for the Relatives of the Enforced Disappeared told the 43rd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). Selvam Sivapakyam, from Mullaitivu, is one of the most...

Tamil families of disappeared call on UN for 'special tribunal or to refer Sri Lanka to ICC'

Tamil families of the disappeared sent a joint letter addressed to the UN High Commissioner, Michelle Bachelet, calling for the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to recommend that Sri Lanka is investigated for their lack of fulfilment in providing answers for their missing loved ones.

Protestors in Batticaloa demand release of Tamil political prisoners

A protest calling the Sri Lanka government to release Tamil political prisoners and to address the issue of missing persons, took place yesterday in Batticaloa. The protest, which took place at the Mahatma Gandhi Park in Batticaloa, was set up near the site of the memorial of executed journalists.

Local businesses close in solidarity for third year of families of disappeared protests

Local businesses in Mullaitivu have closed down in support for the families of disappeared, who held a protest today on International Women's Day to mark three years of demonstrations in Mullaitivu. The International Women's Day was rather a mourning day for the locals and families of the disappeared, who have been missing for over 10 years. Relatives of the disappeared called upon all parties and trade associations to support them on the day marking 3 years since the first protest was first demonstrated in Mullaitivu on 8th March 2017. All the trade associations based in the Mullaitivu...

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