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China’s Oppression Of Muslims Could Be Influencing Srilanka

Sri Lanka Updates
1. Government Amplifies Prevention Of Terrorism Act In Sri Lanka
2. Under New PTA Regulations, 11 Muslim Groups Banned in Sri Lanka
3. Government Begins Framework For Anti-Conversion Laws
4. Unlawful PTA Allows For Detention Up To 18 Months Without Trial Or Charge In Sri Lanka
5. U.S. Congress Introduces Bipartisan Resolution On Sri Lanka To Seek Justice And Accountability 
6. Government Moves Forward With Burqa And Niqab Ban
7. Res 413 Has Been Sent To The U.S House Foreign Affairs Committee
8. European Parliament Threatens To Pull GSP+ Status If PTA Not Repealed
9. UNHRC Chief Says Government Policies Have Targeted Muslims
10. Sri Lankan President Pardons 94, Including Convicted Murderer
11. China’s Oppression Of Muslims Could Be Influencing Srilanka
12. PTA Detainee Hejaaz Hizbullah Has Been Declared A Prisoner Of Conscience
13. Threat Of Intergovernmental Militarization Looms
14. Right To Protest Under Threat As 42 Arrested
15. Rapporteur Says That De-radicalization Regulations Could Lead To Silence Of Those Who Criticize Government
16. Covid Burial Site Already Reaching Capacity As Additional Space Confirmed
17. Opposition Party Accuses President Of Becoming Authoritarian
18. UN Special Rapporteur Says PTA Detainee Hejaaz Hizbullah Has Been Wrongfully Connected To Easter 2019
19. Prison Conditions Poor, Overcrowded; Detainees Tell Stories Of Sexual Assault And Torture
20. President Rajapaksa meets with UN Secretary General Antony Guterres
21. BBS Monk Thero Makes Hateful Comments About Muslims On Television
22. India, China, And Sri Lanka Are Connected In Targeted Oppression
23. Justice Minister Sabry Says PTA Is Unlikely To Ever Be Abolished

China has continued to leave an imprint upon Sri Lanka. Launched in 2013, China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is an “overland Silk Road Economic Belt and Maritime Silk Road” that includes over 60 countries across Europe, Asia, and Africa. The BRI is an infrastructural program that emcompasses railroads, energy networks, interstates, dams, and more. The most expensive part of the BRI has been the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), at $60 billion. This section cuts through the illegally occupied territories of Jammu & Kashmir.

Sri Lanka began its 99 year lease of Hambantota Port in 2017 when they could not pay back their loans. In 2018 alone, China acquired 20 ports from countries around the world such as Fiji, Pakistan, Djibouti, and Maldives because they defaulted on debts, with many from the BRI. Hambantota’s debt was over $1.1 billion. Hambantota is located next to a large trade route.

On June 3, 2021, United States President Joe Biden signed an Executive Order that prohibited U.S. investments in many Chinese companies which threaten its security or democratic values. One of which, China Communications Construction Company, is working on the Hambantota project in Sri Lanka.

Chinese military personnel had also been reportedly digging up an old tank in the Hambantota District, according to Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka.

Following in China’s footsteps, Sri Lanka implemented deradicalization regulations as a part of the Prevention of Terrorism Act this March. China has its own reeducation camps which are concentration camps that hold up to three million Uyghur Muslims in occupied East Turkestan. This region has been renamed Xinjiang, China.

China also voted against the March UNHRC Resolution. In a phone call thanking Chinese President Xi Jinping, Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa also asked about speeding up Sri Lanka’s BRI projects.

As a token to mark both the 65th year of diplomacy between Sri Lanka and China and the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), a 1,000 rupee commemorative coin was issued in Sri Lanka.

As the Sri Lankan government has been inviting Chinese influence into the country, it has been blocking and banning Islamic. In March, it was announced that over 1,000 Islamic schools would be shut down, as well as an incoming ban on burqas and niqabs.

There was also a temporary ban on travelers from six Middle Eastern countries, which was reversed within days. They were Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, and UAE. People who arrive will still have to test negative for Covid-19 and quarantine in a hotel for ten days. Earlier in March, the government banned all Islamic items from coming into the country.

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