‘Time for the UK to Sanction Sri Lanka’s Army Commander’ – International Truth and Justice Project

The International Truth and Justice Project have called upon the British Foreign Office to abide by its commitments to human rights and impose Magnitsky Sanctions against Sri Lanka’s Army Commander, Shavendra Silva, who is credibly accused of crimes against humanity. In their statement, they note that have compiled an extensive dossier detailing his role in mass atrocities including summary executions; the shelling of hospital and food lines; the white phosphorus against civilians; rape and sexual violence; and enforced disappearances. Silva led the notorious 58 Division of Sri Lanka’s Army...

Up to 3,000 people quarantined in Jaffna as coronavirus cases rise

Heavy deployment of Sri Lankan police and military in Jaffna last month Sri Lankan army commander Shavendra Silva, told the Colombo Gazette that nearly 3000 people have been quarantined in Jaffna due to a spike in COVID-19 cases. In a meeting of the the National Centre for the Prevention of COVID-19 (NOCPC), Silva said the situation in Jaffna was given “special attention.” A number of pathways and public places in Jaffna have been closed including the bus stand in the district in an attempt to curb the spread of the virus. Restrictions were also imposed on wedding gatherings and on the number...

30 Tamil fishermen arrested in Kilinochchi

Photo of a Sri Lankan Navy vessel Sri Lanka’s Navy has arrested 30 Tamil fishermen off Poonakary, in northern Kilinochchi, as the navy continues to intensify its patrols. This announcement follows Fisheries Minister, and accused human rights abuser, Douglas Devananda, introducing a set of restrictions to limit fishing to only permit holders. According to the World Socialist Website, the Navy beat and kicked the fishermen before arresting them. Two fishermen, who had pleaded to board the ship, were abandoned and forced to swim seven nautical miles to survive. All of the fishermen were from...

'Deeper into poverty' - Sri Lanka's economic devastation detailed in World Bank report

(Photo provided by the World Bank) The World Bank’s recent report on Sri Lanka highlights the devastating impact the coronavirus has had on the economy; with the country experiencing its worst growth rate on record, contracting 3.6 percent throughout 2020, with a massive 16.4 percent contraction in the second quarter alone. Economic recovery, the World Bank notes will be reliant upon foreign direct investment and normalising tourism. Foreign Investment Whilst the World Bank projects an optimistic growth of 3.4% in Sri Lanka; it follows the European Union’s announcement that it will review its...

Sri Lankan police threaten Kilinochchi council chair over road named after former LTTE cadre

Sri Lankan police interrogated and threatened the chair of a divisional council in Kilinochchi over the naming of a road after a former cadre of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The interrogation was in regards to the naming of a street in Santhapuram as ‘Vettri Lane’, after the nom-de-guerre of a local former combatant who had undergone the Sri Lankan government’s notorious ‘rehabilitation’ programme after the end of the armed conflict. Sri Lankan police questioned the chair of Karaichchi divisional council and warned him to take down the new board or to change the road name to...

Sri Lankan Muslims Fear Speaking Out

Writing in The Diplomat , Tasnim Nazeer details Sri Lanka’s ongoing attempts to silence dissenting Muslim voices and highlights the arrest of Azath Salley, a prominent human rights advocate. Nazeer notes that Salley has been falsely accused of having “links” to the Easter Sunday attack and vandalization of Buddhist statues in Mawanella. However, Salley had repeatedly provided the government with information on the extremist suspects a year prior to the attack and has highlighted that the Rajapaksa Defence Ministry had been funding the National Thawheed Jamath (NTJ) for years prior to the...

‘Certain countries are determined to create confusion’ – Sri Lankan Ambassador denies abuses against Uighurs

Following the passage of the UN Human Rights Council resolution, which mandated the collection of evidence that may be used in a future war crimes tribunal, Sri Lankan Ambassador to China, Palitha Kohona, has denied UN allegations and defended China’s treatment of its Uighur population. “I don’t think that a significant concern has been expressed by anyone about the condition of Uighurs. As in the case of Sri Lanka, there are certain countries which are determined to raise issues in situations where there are no issues; create confusion, where there is no confusion; and, embarrass Sri Lanka...

‘Are Sri Lanka’s police handmaids of the President?’ – CV Wigneswaran

Following the release of Jaffna Mayor, Viswalingam Manivannan, Fisheries Minister, and alleged human rights abuser, Douglas Devananda, claimed that Sri Lanka’s President was going to “pardon” Manivannan, despite the lack of any evidence of criminal conduct. Tamil Makkal Thesiya Kootani (TMTK) leader, C V Wigneswaran, has questioned this alleged pardon as it would imply that he had committed some offence despite the police not providing the court any evidence in Court. Manivannan has been released on bail and not charged under the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act however this harassment...

Vavuniya residents in fear as Sri Lankan police collect personal details

Residents in Vavuniya are in a state of fear as Sri Lankan police officers visit homes demanding personal information. Sri Lankan police visited the houses of residents in the garden areas of Vavuniya this week, and handed over forms requesting resident details; stating that they will come back to retrieve the requested information. Locals state that the request for individual details without any clear information or reasons has created a state of panic among the public. Details requested on the form include name, address, occupation, National Identity Card number and telephone number of the...

Sri Lankan Minister claims to have uncovered the ‘masterminds’ of the Easter Sunday attacks

Sri Lanka’s Minister of Public Security Sarath Weerasekara claimed that Naufar Moulavi and Hajjul Akbar, who are members of the Islamic State (IS)-linked National Towheed Jamaat (NTJ), were the masterminds of the Easter Sunday bombings which claimed the lives of over 250 people in 2019. At a press briefing held on Tuesday, Weerasekara accused the Moulavi, one of the founders of the NTJ, of having brought IS ideology into the country. The accused, along with two others linked to the 2019 attacks, have been charged with conspiring to provide material support to IS, according to an announcement...

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