Sri Lanka

Activists concerned about counter-terror laws while impunity for past crimes persists

Civil society groups have raised concerns about the anti-terror laws. A journalist was attacked by a police officer in Kokuvil East, while a police officer investigating attacks on journalists during former president Mahinda Rajapaksha’s tenure was arbitrarily transferred. There has also been a lack of progress for crimes against journalists and aid workers that occurred during the conflict. Read more

Activists concerned about counter-terror laws while impunity for past crimes persists

Activists fear Rajapaksa’s return to power

Human rights groups have raised fears about a return to past abusive practices in the country after Mahinda Rajapaksa was appointed as President . Rajapaksa’s previous administration was implicated in serious human rights violations during the final stages of Sri Lanka’s brutal civil war and in suppression of freedoms of the media, expression, and association
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Activists fear Rajapaksa’s return to power

Activists threatened and attacked while families of the disappeared protest hearings

Activists working on cases of enforced disappearances are being threatened and attacked . Families of the disappeared are protesting against meetings with the Office for Missing Persons (OMP), saying they had no faith in the body to ensure justice
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Activists threatened and attacked while families of the disappeared protest hearings

Government backs down on restrictive NGO law amendments

In late March 2018, the government agreed to withdraw proposed restrictive amendments to the NGO law. Social media was blocked in the wake of anti-Muslim riots. The government committed to protecting HRDs during the adoption of the UPR at the Human Rights Council Read more

Government backs down on restrictive NGO law amendments

Expression

Once one of the world’s most dangerous countries for journalists, conditions for free expression have improved in Sri Lanka over recent years. Read more


Peaceful Assembly

People in Sri Lanka regularly exercise their right to peaceful assembly. Although there are fewer restrictions on protest rights under the new administration, security forces continue to use excessive force to disperse protesters. Read more


Association

While people in Sri Lanka are able to form and join associations, the legal framework is still in need of reform.
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Sri Lanka-Overview

The conclusion of the long running civil conflict in 2009 and the subsequent defeat of former president Rajapaksa in the presidential elections in 2015 opened up new possibilities for the work of journalists and human rights defenders in Sri Lanka. Read more


Killing of jaffna students prompts unrest in northern Sri Lanka

The recent killing of two students from the University of Jaffna for failing to stop at a police barricade on 10th October has sparked protests across the island. Read more

Killing of jaffna students prompts unrest in northern Sri Lanka

Torture, abduction and ethnic violence continue in Sri Lanka

In early June Velauthapillai Renukaruban a British-Sri Lankan visiting his family home in Jaffna, Northern Sri Lanka, was abducted by security forces. Sinhalese and Tamil students clashed at Jaffna University, in Northern Sri Lanka leaving 10 people injured and forcing the campus to close for two weeks. Police, military intelligence services and troops from the military special task force were all reported to have been deployed, sparking fears of further harassment by the state forces of Tamil student activists. Read more