Boys being forced into prostitution - US State Dept

The United States State Department has stated that displaced persons and war widows are more likely to be victims of human trafficking in Sri Lanka, with young boys being forced into prostitution, in their annual report on human trafficking. The report , released on Tuesday, stated that, "Within the country, women and children are subjected to sex trafficking in brothels. Boys are more likely than girls to be forced into prostitution in coastal areas for domestic child sex tourism . " It also went on to say that, "Internally-displaced persons, war widows, and unregistered female migrants remained particularly vulnerable to human trafficking. " Earlier reports have stated that war widows were being forced into prostitution in the North-East, with rackets taking children from the North-East into tourists resorts in the South being uncovered . The report acknowledged government complicity in running prostitution rings, noting, "Government employees’ complicity in trafficking remained a problem. There were allegations that police and other officials accepted bribes to permit brothels to operate; some of the brothels exploited trafficking victims. Many recruitment agencies were run by politicians or were politically connected. Some sub-agents cooperated with Sri Lankan officials to procure forged or modified documents, or real documents with false data, to facilitate travel abroad. There were no reported law enforcement actions taken against officials complicit in human trafficking." A leaked US embassy cable from 2007 stated that Tamil paramilitary groups ran prostitution rings to “take care” of Sri Lankan soldiers , as well as kidnapping and trafficking minors to prostitution rings throughout India and Malaysia . It was reported that some women were forced to have sex with between 5 and 10 soldiers every night. See our earlier post: Sri Lanka’s leaders complicit in forced prostitution and child sex trafficking (22 Dec 2010)

UN has to call on Sri Lanka to take immediate action – Amnesty

Amnesty International have asked the UN Human Rights Council to call on Sri Lanka to implement measures to protect human rights and to be prepared to take independent action if Sri Lanka fails to deliver justice to victims of human rights violations. In a statement, released for the June UN Human Rights Council session in Geneva, Amnesty said has failed to fulfil its human rights obligations and human rights abuses still take place. See extracts below: "Sri Lanka is not fulfilling many of its international human rights obligations. Impunity remains the norm for gross violations of human...

Menon set to visit Sri Lanka to ‘follow up’ UNHRC resolution

India’s National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon will visit Sri Lanka later this month, in order to follow up a UN Human Rights Council resolution on Sri Lanka which was passed in March. Officials told the Hindu that the visit was, “a follow-up to the United Nations Human Rights Council vote against the island nation in its last session.” At the 19th session of the UN Human Rights Council in March, India voted in favour of a US-sponsored resolution calling on Sri Lanka to implement recommendations for the government’s Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission. The vote was hailed by...

Journalists for Democracy launches revamped website

The organisation Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka (JDS) has announced the launch of a new revamped website . The organisation, made up of exiled journalists from the island, released video evidence of Sri Lankan soldiers engaging in extra-judicial killings and stated that they would continue to “endeavor to raise awareness on Sri Lanka as well as challenge undemocratic practices in the island”. Bashana Abeywardena, convener of JDS said in a press release, " Sri Lankan journalists forced to leave the island due to the government’s war against the truth make up the backbone of the website...

Minister’s threat to Tamils of “100 more massacres”

Sri Lankan cabinet minister Champika Ranawaka has warned of “100 more massacres” if the Tamil people of the island were to follow the Tamil National Alliance, who he accused of calling the “nation” out to fight. Addressing reporters, Power and Energy minister Champika Ranawaka from the JHU, a constituent party of the ruling coalition stated, " Does Sampanthan want to create 100 more Mullivaikkals? We are ready to forgive and forget the past and think about the future. But, if Sampanthan is calling us to a fight, our nation would proudly accept the challenge." "One Mullivaikkal is enough. Don'...

Colombo stock exchange among world’s worst performing

The Sri Lankan stock exchange is the fourth worst performing bourse in the world, according to a US investment group. Bespoke Investment Group’s analysis showed the Colombo Stock Exchange’s All Share Price Index, is down by 18.95% on a year to year basis, just ahead of struggling European economies, Spain, Greece and the Ukraine. Sri Lanka has been best and second best performing stock market in previous years, however after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) started investigating suspect trades and imposed price bands, share prices fell sharply. According to The Island , lobbying...

Police block Tamil protest in Jaffna

Photograph: TamilNet A large scale protest by Tamil activists in Jaffna against the expropriation of private land by the government, held in front of Jaffna Bus Stand, was blocked by Sri Lankan police on Monday, reports TamilNet. See here . Having alleged the protest contained "destructive elements", the Sri Lankan police cited 'legal permission' from a District Court judge to block the protest at the final moment.

Militarisation in North-East continues to traumatise children

A spokesperson for Save The Children in Sri Lanka has stated that the continued presence of the military in the island’s former war zones, continues to have an impact on the trauma of children in the North-East. Menaca Calyaneratne, director of advocacy for the group stated , "I think there's still de-mining taking place, so there has to be involvement of the military as well." "But for children who have lived in fear of war, seeing the presence of the military could affect them psychologically. On the one hand, that will have an impact on them, that the war is not over for them." Sri Lanka’s...

Castro, Rajapakse vow to strengthen bilateral ties

Raul Castro greets Mahinda Rajapakse (Pictures: ColomboPage) Cuban President Raul Castro and President Mahinda Rajapakse held talks in Havana and agreed to further strengthen cooperation between the two countries. The leaders praised the over 50-year old relationship the countries shared and Rajapakse expressed his appreciation for the support Cuba showed to Sri Lanka at the 19th session of the UN Human Rights Council, where Cuba voted against a US-sponsored resolution on Sri Lanka. Ministers Wimal Weerawnsa, Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, Mahinda Amaraweera, Deputy Minister Nirupama Rajapaksa and...

Rajapaksa’s sons win Sri Lanka Cricket TV contract

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s sons have won a contract granting them the broadcasting rights for Sri Lankan Cricket for the next 3 years, in a deal that has sparked controversy on the island. The president’s sons won the contract through their own newly established private company Carlton Sports Network, after no other bids were allegedly put forward. The state-owned Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation, who have largely held the broadcasting rights for Sri Lanka Cricket, allegedly missed the advertisements by the cricket board, with their chairman Mohan Samaranayake saying, "Yes we...

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