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Opposition Party Accuses President Of Becoming Authoritarian

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 European Parliament Threatens To Pull GSP+ Status If PTA Not Repealed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

Opposition party Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) has accused President Gotabaya Rajapaksa of controlling the fundamental rights of Sri Lankans and heading towards authoritarianism. They said this as a result of the President declaring a State of Emergency, which they believe was not authentic and had ulterior motives. Provisions under the Emergency were more tailored for threats to public security than a pandemic, they added.

While Sri Lanka has one of the highest numbers of enforced disappearances in the world, Minister of Justice Ali Sabry said on August 30 that the government had zero tolerance for them and that the government was trying to balance national security and people’s liberties. This statement came on International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances.

Sri Lanka has had between 60,000 and 100,000 missing persons since 1980. The Office of Missing Persons (OMP) has 14,988 complaints and are attempting to work on them in three tiers. They plan on dividing them by three sets of years, beginning with 2000-2021; 1981-1999; and those prior to 1980.

United Nations (UN) Sri Lanka Resident Coordinator Hanaa Singer-Hamdy stated that the creation of the OMP in 2016 was a good step, but for it to be successful, the government must build and keep the trust of both victims and their families.

In continuation of last week’s story on nearly 100,000 Sri Lankan refugees living in India’s Tamil Nadu, there are talks of citizenship. On August 29, the state’s Chief Minister M.K. Stalin told Workers’ Congress (CWC) Vice Chairman Senthil Thondaman that he was willing to endorse citizenship for the Sri Lankan refugees.

Along with providing financial support for the refugee camps, they were renamed to ‘rehabilitation camps.’ Chief Minister Stalin claimed the change of terminology was because “they are not refugees “when we are all there for them.”

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International Day for Victims of Enforced Disappearances: Government claims ‘zero tolerance’ policy
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister backs citizenship for Lankan refugees
SJB claims Prez moving towards authoritarianism, alleges that Fundamental Rights are restricted

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