'Sri Lanka's Militarised Approach to Quarantine'

As states across the world grapple with the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, 47 Roots looked at how the Sri Lankan military has led the regime’s response.

British Tamil community rallies together in wake of coronavirus outbreak

British Tamils across the United Kingdom have rallied together in the wake of the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, with community organisations putting in place a raft of initiatives to help those most in need as the country goes into lockdown.

Coronavirus cases rise to 101 in Sri Lanka

A total of at least 101 patients have tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus in Sri Lanka, the Director General of Health Services announced today. The Presidential Media Division also declared in a statement, that Colombo, Gampaha and Kalutara have been identified as 'high risk zones' and are all under curfew until further notice. Despite this announcement, Sri Lanka continue to set up 'quarantine centres' across the North-East. There have also been reports of increased militarisation in the area, with regular military checks and increased security. Read more here: Sri Lankan army...

Tamil diaspora groups call for international accountability mechanism on Sri Lanka

Tamil diaspora groups have called for an international accountability mechanism on Sri Lanka, following Sri Lanka's announcement to withdraw from the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolutions. The Australian Tamil Congress (ATC), the British Tamils Forum (BTF), the Canadian Tamil Congress (CTC), the Irish Tamils Forum (ITC) and the United States Tamil Action Group (USTAG) "urge action to be taken up by appropriate international jurisdictions such as an ad hoc international criminal tribunal on Sri Lanka," to ensure accountability for violations of international human rights and humanitarian...

TNPF organise initiative to aid Tamils as militarisation escalates in the North-East

(Photo credit: @TnpfOrg - Twitter) The Tamil National People's Front (TNPF) have organised an initiative to aid Tamil people in the North-East as the Sri Lanka government continues to enforce strict curfews and lockdown measures nationwide where many locals' lives have been impacted. Families from low-income households and vulnerable or immunocompromise persons have been greatly affected by the state-sanctioned measures and as of yet there has been no support provided from the government. TNPF have proceeded to support the Tamil community in the North-East and tweeted yesterday; " Our...

Sri Lankan army detains at least 1,050 in coronavirus quarantine centres in North-East

The Sri Lankan air force has continued to set up more of the state’s controversial coronavirus “quarantine centres” across the North-East, with at least 1,057 foreigners and locals being detained at these centres, in the wake of the COVID-19 coronavrius outbreak, Despite protests by locals and politicians who expressed their concern in the setting up these centres in the North-East regions, the military has continued to establish quarantine centres in the area. There has been an increased militarisation across the North-East with reporters in Vavuniya saying that buses are continuing to be subjected to military checks, and increased security. See updates from across the North below.

Sri Lanka's military enforce lockdown in Thavady following coronavirus case

A local from the village of Thavady in the North who tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19), has prompted a village-wide lockdown earlier today at around 8:30 am local time. Full surveillance measures have been implemented by the Sri Lankan military forces with no one allowed to enter or leave the village.

Wife of political prisoner demands release of husband amid coronavirus fears

The wife of a political prisoner, has handed a plea to the Mullaitivu District Secretariat, demanding the Sri Lanka president to release her husband and other political prisoners over concerns of them catching the coronavirus (COVID-19). Nadesu Kuganathan, from Mullaitivu, undertook a rehabilitation programme before he was rearrested in 2013 and has been detained since, at the New Magazine Prison in Colombo.

Tamil political prisoners ‘threatened to join protest’ in Anuradhapura

Tamil political prisoners being detained at Anuradhapura prison were being threatened into joining a demonstration that ended with Sri Lankan security forces killing at least two inmates, said the leader of the Tamil National Peoples’ Front (TNPF) on Saturday. According to tweets from Gajen Ponnambalam, Sinhalese prisoners who were opposed to the transfer of patients thought to have been infected with the coronavirus staged a demonstration, which led to Sri Lankan authorities deploying Special Task Force troops. “The Tamil polticial prsioners there are being threatened by the Sinhala inmates...

Sri Lanka to contribute $5 million towards SAARC Coronavirus Emergency Fund

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanked Sri Lanka for its pledge to contribute $5 million towards SAARC (the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) COVID-19 emergency fund. “Sincerely thank President of Sri Lanka [Gotabaya Rajapaksa] for contributing $ 5 million to the SAARC COVID-19 Emergency Fund,” tweeted Modi this morning. “Our cooperation will go a long way in fighting this disease effectively.” Sri Lanka’s contribution to the fund comes as the number of COVID-19 infections on the island continues to rise. A total of 91 people are reported to have tested positive for the...