The UK’s High Commissioner Sarah Hulton met with Sri Lankan Public Security Minister Rear Admiral…
15. Rapporteur Says That De-radicalization Regulations Could Lead To Silence Of Those Who Criticize Government
17. Opposition Party Accuses President Of Becoming Authoritarian
18. UN Special Rapporteur Says PTA Detainee Hejaaz Hizbullah Has Been Wrongfully Connected To Easter 2019
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.”
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