Sri Lanka Brief



1.       Situation in North and East – absolute militarization
·         Governors for both North and East appointed by the President are former senior military officials
·         Military restricts freedom of association, assembly and movement
·         Military occupies land preventing people from resettling

·         Displaced people whose land is occupied by military are forcibly resettled in area against their will
·       Military engages in cultivation, trade, tourism etc., preventing local communities from developing themselves economically
·         Large number of monuments for military built in North
·         Destruction of memorials and cemeteries of Tamil militants
·         Banning of grieving / remembrance events for those killed
·         General fear people – especially women have of military, which is predominantly male
·         Several eyewitness accounts of military providing safety to “grease devils”, who have been attacking and terrorizing people from minority communities
·         Severe attacks by military and police on communities resisting attacks by “grease devils”
·         Very little government support for housing, livelihood, education, health etc.
2.      Rule of Law
·         The Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) is still in place and new regulations have been promulgated, making the announcement of lapse of the Emergency Regulations meaningless
·         The 18th amendment to the constitution in September 2010 had made
·         The government refused to enact a Right to Information Act
·         Continuing cases of death in Police custody and torture by Police
·         Direct interference of government officials and state resources for government election campaigns
·         Intolerance against sexual minorities
3.      Suppression of Human Rights Defenders and dissent
·         There is a continuous suppression of dissent of any form
·         Journalists continue to be attacked and detained
·         Work of Trade Unions continue to be suppressed – using state media, judiciary
·         Popular protests on socio-economic issues are also attacked
·         Those engaging with international community and particularly attending sessions of UN Human Rights Council are portrayed as traitors and intimidated
·         Journalists and Human Rights Defenders continue to impose self-censorship on themselves and flee the country

4.      Report of the Panel of Experts of UN Secretary General on Accountability
·         The report had been finally sent to the President of the UN Human Rights Council and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
·         But no action has been forthcoming from either party to follow up on findings and recommendations
5.      Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC)
·         The LLRC is deeply flawed in it’s mandate, composition and practice
·         Many testimonies and submissions to LLRC reflects allegations and findings in the report of the Panel of the Experts of the UNSG
6.      International Cooperation
·         The government has not ratified the International Convention Against Enforced Disappearances, Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture and Rome Statute
·         The government has not extended invitations to several Special Procedures of the UN Human Rights Council – despite pending requests since 2006

6th October 2011

Sri Lanka Advocacy Group
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