Amnesty releases graphic novel highlighting Sri Lanka’s discrimination against LGBTI community

Amnesty International released a graphic novel highlighting the discrimination faced by LGBTI people in Sri Lanka. The novel, ‘Spectrum: Four Stories of Discrimination Faced by LGBTI People’, follows four characters to illustrate the ‘discrimination and violence in their daily lives, from workplace bullying to police harassment.’ Based on true events, the stories depict the ‘alarming ways the police in Sri Lanka handle cases involving LGBTI people.’ Sri Lanka continues to use colonial laws such as the Penal Code and the Vagrant Code to target LGBTI people. ‘Section 399 of the Penal Code bans...

Former Sri Lankan soldier claims CID falsified navy abduction ring evidence

A retired Sri Lankan soldier who was protesting outside the Swiss embassy has now claimed that the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) had falsified evidence about the navy abduction ring which killed 11 youths. Ajith Prasanna, a retired soldier, lawyer and convenor of the self-proclaimed ‘War Heroes for Motherland’ organisation held a press conference on Friday in which he alleged that the CID had pressured former navy officers and a former LTTE cadre to give false statements about the abductions. Prasanna presented former navy officers and the LTTE cadre in question to ‘corroborate’ his...

Buddhist monks petition UNP over ‘insults’

An organisation of Buddhist monks have written to the United National Party (UNP), calling on it to ensure that members who have “insulted” monks to not be given any parliamentary nominations in upcoming elections. The Tri Nikayika Tharuna Bikkhu Sangamaya - an organisation of young Buddhist monks that represent the island’s three Buddhist chapters - handed a petition to the party this week, with demands made to the UNP leadership. “We have requested the UNP leadership not to give nominations to MPs Mangala Samaraweera, Ranjan Ramanayake and Rajitha Senaratne who had insulted monks,” said...

Sri Lankan and India kick off military exercise in Pune

The Sri Lankan and Indian militaries began an exercise in Pune this week, as military ties between the two governments continued to grow. The exercise ‘Mitra Shakthi - VII, comes despite concerns of human rights abuses committed by Sri Lankan troops, under new president Gotabaya Rajapaksa. It has taken place every year between the two armies since 2012, and this year will reportedly involve “counter terrorism practices, long range reconnaissance patrol (LRRP) techniques, small group operations, effective employment of snipers, simulated attacks on terrorist hideouts, suicide bombing, use of...

Sri Lanka slams British court ruling and maintains diplomatic immunity for brigadier

The Sri Lankan government has called the prosecution of a Sri Lankan brigadier “politically motivated” and maintained he has diplomatic immunity, despite a British court ruling on Friday which found him guilty of violating the Public Order Act. “The Government of Sri Lanka continues to maintain that Brigadier Fernando as a diplomat who was attached to the Sri Lanka High Commission in London is entitled to diplomatic immunity as per Article 31 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961,” said an official Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry statement this morning. Sri Lanka went on to...

‘Rajapaksa is the right person to lead our country’ - Muralitharan

Former Sri Lankan cricketer Muttiah Muralitharan has reiterated his support for Sri Lanka’s new president Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who stands accused of heading a military offensive that killed tens of thousands of Tamil civilians. “I support President Rajapaksa because he is the right person to lead our country,” Muralitharan told the Hindustan Times, shrugging off the reports of human rights violations.

British court rules Sri Lankan Brigadier guilty after death threats to Tamils

A Sri Lankan brigadier who motioned death threats to Tamil protestors in London last year has been found guilty by a British court of violating the Public Order Act, after a protracted legal battle. Westminster Magistrate’s Court upheld a previous ruling that Sri Lanka’s Brigadier Priyanka Fernando “is not protected by diplomatic immunity”, despite pleas made by Sri Lanka’s Foreign Ministry.

Premadasa accepted as opposition leader by speaker Sri Lanka parliament

The speaker of Sri Lanka’s parliament, Karu Jayasuriya, has accepted the request of Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, the General Secretary of the UNP, to appoint Sajith Premadasa as opposition leader. The Daily Mirror claims that the appointment of Premadasa would be announced by the speaker formally when parliament begins on 3 January. This reporting follows contentious claims that Ranil Wickremesinghe would become the leader of the opposition. More than 40 MPs signed a letter requesting that Premadasa keep his position as leader of the opposition. Read more here: Ranil nominated Opposition Leader...

Sri Lankan army building another vihara in occupied Tamil land

Valikamam North residents have been angered by the building of a Buddhist temple on privately owned land currently occupied by the Sri Lankan army. The new shrine which Sri Lankan soldiers have been working on is located on a two-acre property in Thaiyiddy. The property is part of the thousands of acres of Valikamam North still occupied by the Sri Lankan army, despite highly publicised releases of fractions of the area over the past four years. Those that have not received their lands have been told indefinitely that they would be returned to them on future dates. Although the Valikamam North...

Torture victims put cases on hold to avoid Gotabaya impunity 

A group of Tamil and Sri Lankan torture victims who launched a court case against current Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa for torture damages have decided to withdraw their cases, in order to prevent him from asserting immunity. This move has been made to ensure that Rajapaksa is held accountable and allows the victims to retain their right to resubmit their cases once he leaves office. Rajapaksa, who was a dual US-Sri Lankan citizen at the time, was served a notice with a case file under the Torture Victim Protection Act in Glendale, California on 7 April 2019. This civil damages case...

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