Sri Lanka Brief
Human Rights

Human Rights

  • Miles to go towards democracy, editorial, Sunday Times

    No doubt, President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s announcement this week in Parliament, proposing the lifting of Emergency Regulations under the Public Security Ordinance (1947) will be greeted by (virtually) all in this country with a sigh of relief. It is still not clear when it would be done, but the suggestion alone is good enough news for […]

  • Minister Samarasinghe on UNHRC, HR action plan and LLRC

    Manjula FERNANDOPlantation Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe who also oversees the subject of human rights, in an interview with the Sunday Observer says the lifting of the Emergency is a commitment the Government has fulfilled to ensure that the right conditions exist on the ground for national reconciliation.“There are certain points of view now being expressed that […]

  • SLA-assaulted Tamil civilian dies at Puththa’lam hospital

    A 33-year-old Tamil civilian, suffering from heart ailment died last Sunday at hospital after being assaulted by Sri Lanka Army soldiers in Narakkalli village in Puththa’lam, medical sources told TamilNet. The victim, Mr. P. Sivakumar, was the first one to alert the villagers of suspected ‘grease devils’ believed to be Sinhala soldiers. The villagers chased […]

  • JAFFNA: BRUTAL ASSAULT OF CIVILIANS IN NAVANTHURAI Read more >

    JAFFNA: BRUTAL ASSAULT OF CIVILIANS IN NAVANTHURAI

    Around 100 young men from Navanthurai, a village in the Jaffna District, were detained in an operation conducted by the Sri Lanka Army around 1.15am on 23rd August 2011. The villagers were severely beaten by the army and dragged to the main road near the Navanthurai Army Detachment located around 300 meters from the village. […]

  • HRCSL refuses to register complaints against ‘grease devil’ attacks

    The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) refuses to entertain complaints against the harassment by alleged Sri Lankan armed forces personnel posing as “greased devils” in Batticaloa district. Instead the HRCSL asks the complainants to lodge same with the emergency service unit of the Sri Lanka Police, according to affected persons in the district. […]

  • Tamil youth tortured by security forces in Jaffna Read more >

    Tamil youth tortured by security forces in Jaffna

    Those who were taken into Army custody from their homes in Navathurai mercilessly assaulted: limbs brokenThe residents of Navathurai district Jaffna who were involved in a conflict with the Army over the grease devil menace , and were later taken into custody by the Army from their homes on the 22nd night had been assaulted […]

  • Sri Lanka Asylum seekers: New challenges

    ”Since the end of the military conflict in Sri Lanka in May 2009, the situation with regard to asylum seekers from Sri Lanka has become even more of a challenge than before. Thousands of Tamils fled the island as the final military operations jeopardized civilians lives with impunity. Two years after, there are still many […]

  • IUSF to take legal action against illegal arrests by police

    A fundamental rights case would be filed against the arrest of the former convener of the Inter University Students Federation (IUSF) Udul Premaratne and another, remanding them for two weeks on false charges and harassing them for 1 ½ years claiming legal actions were being taken against them states IUSF.   This was revealed yesterday (22nd) by […]

  • A ‘charge sheet’ to National Human Rights Commission

    ”Several victims and their families have complained to us that HRC inquiries end up as a form of harassment and punishment to them. Complainants turn up on days and times the HRC invites them to come for inquiries, only to find that relevant state officials summoned by the HRC do not turn up, without any […]

  • Madu pilgrims inconvenienced by Police action . Read more >

    Madu pilgrims inconvenienced by Police action .

    Thousands of Catholic pilgrims heading for the Madu feast from the South were inconvenienced today when the Police in Mannar ordered that no private buses will be able to travel to the area and passengers could travel only by state run buses.The move prompted a strike by the Private Bus Owners Association in Mannar until […]

  • 59,501 war widows in North Read more >

    59,501 war widows in North

    There are 59,501 war widows in the North, said Minister of Women’s Affairs Tissa Karalliyedde yesterday (Aug. 12).He gave the detail to parliament in response to a question by UNP’s Sajith Premadasa.He also said that his ministry was compiling a database of widows at divisional secretariat division level. Consultancy services are taking place for these […]

  • Muslim war widows left without help in Sri Lanka . Read more >

    Muslim war widows left without help in Sri Lanka .

    Three years since the end of the war, these women are homeless, jobless or without any kind of assistance. Many have lost children, killed by Tamil rebels. Some complain that they are discriminated based on their religion.“We live miserable lives, without a home, work or someone to take care of us. We have been abandoned,” […]

  • No One, in the US or Sri Lanka, Should Be Above the Law Read more >

    No One, in the US or Sri Lanka, Should Be Above the Law

    ”Whether committed by the US or Sri Lanka, by government officials or separatist groups, serious human rights abuses should be investigated and perpetrators held to account.”  by Brad Adams, Human Rights Watch In a report released last month Human Rights Watch called on the US government to launch criminal investigations into allegations of detainee abuse authorized […]

  • A dangerous delight in giddiness: Five years after ACF murders in Moothoor

    ”Today’s Lanka is characterised by public cynicism, fear and institutional decay: fear among journalists of crossing invisible lines; cynicism about the country’s rulers and general disbelief in what they say; and the progressive decay of institutions that should protect human rights.”Rajan Hoole and Kopalasingham Sritharan, UTHR (Jaffna)“What is truth?” said jesting Pilate, and would not […]

  • Leadership training killed her

    Lumbini KarandanaThe Inter University Students’ Federation (IUSF) alleged yesterday that a student who was selected for the university had died soon after undergoing the government leadership programme as a catarrhal problem of hers had worsened during the programme.ISUF Convener Sanjeewa Bandara told a media briefing that this student who was from Thennakongama, Welimada (in Badulla […]

  • What is wrong with Gotabhaya ? ” – India asked Read more >

    What is wrong with Gotabhaya ? ” – India asked

    Are they western or universal values?“You see why human rights and democracy are dying in Sri Lanka. It is because they are western values. What is wrong with Gotabhaya ? ” – India asked Sri Lanka GuardianA scholarly debate has begun in the Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka after the last official visit by […]

  • WOMEN’S PRISON CONDITIONS OVERCROWDED & INHUMANE

    Ranmali BandarageMonthly ‘visiting hours’ at the female ward of Sri Lanka’s notorious Welikada Prison are as traumatic for the inmates as they are for their family and friends. A tiny room, measuring 10 feet by seven feet, is divided in half by a mesh counter. On one side, mothers, fathers, children and relatives jostle for […]

  • Sri Lanka condemned over aid workers’ deaths Read more >

    Sri Lanka condemned over aid workers’ deaths

    Picture of murdered aid workers Human Rights Watch has accused the Sri Lankan government of lacking the will to prosecute the security forces for the killings of 17 aid workers in 2006.There was widespread revulsion following the murders of the 16 Tamils and one Muslim in the north-eastern town of Muttur during the civil war.European […]

  • Uthayan attackers still at large

    The two men who had assaulted chief news editor of the Jaffna based Uthayan newspaper, G. Kuganathan were still at large, police said.Police had deployed several teams into the area to arrest the two men who had arrived on a motorbike to assault the news editor. Inspector General of Police N.K. Ilangakoon has handed over […]

  • Colombo unable to bury facts of ACF massacre

    Fifth anniversary of the massacre of seventeen staffers of the French NGO, Action Contre la Faim (ACF), by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers falls on the 4th of August. Later investigations established that the workers, trapped inside their Moothoor branch office residence of ACF located close to Moothoor Cultural Centre, were shot and killed […]

  • Rise up for media freedom & democracy – JVP Read more >

    Rise up for media freedom & democracy – JVP

    The attack on the editor of ‘Udayan’ newspaper is not only an issue regarding media freedom. It is an issue regarding national unity; an issue regarding the right to live freely; an issue regarding the freedom of expression and it is also an issue regarding democracy states a communiqué issued by the Political Bureau of […]

  • Sri Lanka a divided nation, under authoritarian rule- Chandrika

    Former Sri Lanka President Chandrika Kumaratunga said on Sunday that she still ‘agonizes’ over not using full presidential powers or authoritarian rule to implement the then draft constitution that would have ended dictatorial presidential rule.“I still agonize over this, over and over again as to whether I should have used full presidential powers or authoritarian […]

  • ‘Three new borns killed each day by mothers’

    Nadira GUNATILLEKE Three infants are killed by their young mothers in Sri Lanka daily while one female child gets abused, Foundation for Law and Justice President, attorney-at-law Sumedha Senanayake said. The rate of divorce too is rapidly increasing within Sri Lanka and a majority of couples divorce during the first year of their marriage, he […]

  • Police top HR violators in 2009

    By Saman Indrajith The highest number of complaints of human rights violations had been received against the Police Department for violating human rights in 2009, Parliament was told yesterday. Chief Government Whip Water Supply and Drainage Minister Dinesh Gnawardena said that of the 5,454 complaints received that year, 2691 were against the police. He was […]

  • Sri Lankan Jails ‘Hell’ for Females

    By Ranmali Bandarage Monthly ‘visiting hours’ at the female ward of Sri Lanka’s notorious Welikada Prison are as traumatic for the inmates as they are for their family and friends. A tiny room, measuring 10 feet by seven feet, is divided in half by a mesh counter. On one side, mothers, fathers, children and relatives jostle […]

  • Lack of transparency in the Executive:The cause of many problems – Ex-CJ

    By Lakmal SooriyagodaLack of transparency in the Executive has led to many problems in the country, said former chief justice Sarath N. Silva yesterday. Addressing a seminar entitled, “Is the Executive, a Challenge to the People’s Sovereignty?” in Colombo, the former chief justice alleged that there was no openness or transparency in the Executive. “Though […]

  • Is the Ministry of Higher Education violating the University Act? Read more >

    Is the Ministry of Higher Education violating the University Act?

    There are positive signs in the direction that the trade union action of the university teachers would come to an end soon. However, the fundamental issues raised by the University Teachers’ Association remain unresolved although the government responded positively to their demands on salaries and working conditions. The fundamentals are incorporated in the demand for […]

  • HRC Cash Strapped

    By Indika Sri AravindaThe Human Rights Commission (HRC) is unable to inquire into 2,000 complaints received due to the lack of funds to operate the Commission, a member of the HRC Prof. Ananda Mendis said.The Presidential Secretariat has already been informed about the matter in writing.The financial crisis has resulted in delays in inquiring into […]

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