Reports have emerged of Muslims businesses and homes being attacked in Sri Lanka as well as Muslims forced to flee their homes, in the aftermath of the Easter Sunday bombings that have killed more than 350 people so far. At least two Muslim shops have been burnt down, mosques have been pelted with stones and there have been several incidents of attacks on homes and individuals, including Pakistani refugees. A Sri Lankan parliamentarian with the prime minister’s United National Party has also called for a ban on burqas, a type of traditional Muslim attire.
Developing story Updated 20:00 GMT, April 24 The death toll of the bombings rose to 359, as Sri Lanka's prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said there were still suspects with explosives at large. Sri Lanka's parliament implemented emergency regulations without a vote, which will give the President and security forces further sweeping powers. The spokesperson for the Tamil National Alliance MA Sumanithrian, urged for unity and restraint, whilst calling on the governor of the Eastern Province to be investigated for his links with the National Thowheed Jamaath, a lesser known jihadist group that has been blamed by Sri Lankan authorities for the Easter Sunday bombings that have killed over 300 people. Although the exact role of Isis in the attacks is yet to be established, it is though that the group’s involvement reoriented the local attackers away from bombs directed at destroying major Buddhist monuments and towards targets more closely associated with its global jihadist ideology, reports the Guardian. Accusations of the Sri lankan government’s failure to act on international intel further solidified, as the Guardian reported international sources confirming that intel had been provided to Sri Lanka in advance of the attacks. By the end of the day a total of 80 suspects had already been detained in links to the attacks.
A Tamil Guardian correspondent was arrested on Saturday morning by police following a complaint filed by the Sri Lankan navy, before later being released on bail. Shanmugam Thavaseelan, a prominent Mullaitivu-based journalist was arrested on Saturday morning after being questioned by Mullaitivu police on Friday.
Gotabaya Rajapaksa was served with notice of two separate civil lawsuits against him in California on Sunday evening, in relation to atrocity crimes he allegedly committed while Sri Lankan Secretary of Defense. Rajapaksa, who oversaw a military offensive that massacred tens of thousands of Tamils, was formally served the summons at a Trader Joe’s parking lot in Pasadena, California.
Member states urged the UN Human Rights Council to ensure justice is delivered on in Sri Lanka through a time-bound strategy during today's interactive dialogue on the report by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, with Canada reiterating the call for international judges.
The US State Department released its 2018 report on the human rights this month, raising ongoing concerns in Sri Lanka of impunity, arbitrary detention, unlawful killings, torture, sexual abuse and media intimidation.
Sri Lanka has made "virtually no progress" on the investigation of war crimes, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, said in its report on Sri Lanka's efforts towards implementing resolution 30/1, which called for accountability and transitional justice through a hybrid mechanism. The report also raised concerns over the on-going reports of abduction, torture and sexual violence, institutional failures within the criminal justice system, ongoing harassment of human rights defenders since 2015 and the military’s continued occupation of civilian land.
Displaced families from Keppapulavu marked the start of their third year of continuous protest on Friday, campaigning for their homes to released from military occupation.
The judge at Westminster Magistrates Court today concluded the Sri Lankan Brigadier, accused of making a death threat to Tamil protesters in London last year, was not covered by diplomatic immunity whilst making the gesture.