Prisoner shot dead and several injured in Anuradhapura

At least one person has been killed and several others injured after Sri Lankan guards opened fire at inmates during a protest at the Anuradhapura prison earlier today.

A military mindset: Sri Lanka’s response to the coronavirus pandemic

By calling on a military accused of egregious rights abuses to lead a public health operation, the Sri Lankan government risks “exacerbating existing ethnic divides, endangering human rights and civil liberties even further, and furthering the violent militarization of the island,” wrote Tamil Guardian's editor-in-chief Thusiyan Nandakumar in the Polis Project this week.

Special Task Force searches houses of arrivals in coronavirus crackdown

Troops from Sri Lanka’s Special Task Force (STF) launched “inspections” of homes of recent foreign arrivals in Sri Lanka this week, as the head to the army warned that some 800 people had avoided quarantine procedures.

Sri Lanka instructs foreigners to ‘curtail movements’ with over 2,000 people in quarantine

The head of Sri Lanka’s army has called on all foreigners on the island to “curtail their movements” as he confirmed that over 2,000 people had been detained in quarantine centres across the island. “We request all foreigners in Sri Lanka to curtail their movements within the country to avoid spreading the COVID -19," said Shavendra Silva, who is currently subject to US travel sanctions over his role in overseeing war crimes. “Hoteliers, restaurateurs, and owners of establishments where foreigners would be residing are to advise the foreigners to limit their travels", he added. Silva...

Sri Lankan air force sets up coronavirus ‘quarantine centres’ in North

The Sri Lankan air force announced that it had set up more of the state’s controversial coronavirus “quarantine centres” in Jaffna, Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu this morning. An official military press release shows Sri Lankan troops constructing the detention centres Palaly, Iranamadu and Mullaitivu. The quarantine centres have been a key aspect of Sri Lanka’s coronavirus counter-strategy, used to house foreign arrivals from at-risk countries. They used controversy earlier this month after one such centre was moved from Hendala in the south to Batticaloa following protests from Sinhala locals...

Coronavirus cases rise to 70 in Sri Lanka

The Sri Lankan government confirmed that at least 70 patients have tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus, as it announced a curfew would be in place over the weekend. A reported 18 of the confirmed cases are from Gampaha, 17 are from Colombo and 12 are from Puttalam. Three cases have been reported in Batticaloa and 1 in Vavuniya, with other districts in the North-East unaffected, as of yet. The island’s first patient was a Chinese tourist in January, with the first domestic transmission earlier this month, many of them arrivals from Italy. The Sri Lankan military has been deployed to...

British MPs call for UK government to be ‘more robust’ with Sri Lanka

British parliamentarians from both major parties raised concerns over the deterioration in the human rights situation in Sri Lanka, calling on the UK government to be “more robust with the Sri Lankan authorities”.

Island-wide curfew imposed in Sri Lanka over coronavirus

The Sri Lankan government announced it will be imposing an island-wide curfew from tonight, as it looks to tackle the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak

Former army spokesperson to contest in upcoming parliamentary elections

Former Media Spokesperson of the Sri Lanka Army, Brigadier Sumith Atapattu, is set to make his political debut by contesting in the Parliamentary Elections this year, according to Colombo Gazete. Atapattu - who was part of the Mechanised Infantry during the civil war - said he made a decision to contest from the Kurunegala District under the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) party led by Sajith Premadasa to work for his people and ensure the issues they faced are addressed.

Canadian Tamil students organise communal transport service in wake of coronavirus

Tamil students and volunteers from Toronto, Canada have set up a free transportation service to help the elderly and others in need during the COVID-19 crisis. With the coronavirus prompting more nationwide restrictions and lockdowns across the world, it has made it particularly difficult for elderly and immunocompromised individuals to seek medical assistance and to purchase groceries, medications and other necessities.