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Threat Of Intergovernmental Militarization Looms

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 European Parliament Threatens To Pull GSP+ Status If PTA Not Repealed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

Yet another member of the Rajapaksa family joins the government. This time, it is President Gotabaya’s younger brother Basil who has been appointed as the Finance Minister. Their other sibling, Mahinda, is the country’s Prime Minister. A fourth brother, Chamal has recently been added as Minister of Irrigation as well as a Junior Minister of Defense. Mahinda’s son Namal is the Minister of Youth and Sports.

Many fear growing militarization of Sri Lanka under Gotabaya as he was formerly an officer. In the United Nations High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet’s January Report, she mentioned military holding civilian positions, including those who have been implicated in serious crimes.

University professors are concerned that the General Sir John Kotelawala National Defence University (KDU) bill will merge military and civilian education. The Federation of University Teachers Association (FUTA) wishes to keep those separated. FUTA claims that the bill could allow the military to have more power over education policies and administration. They said this could also silence students’ rights to free expression and dissent.

Former cabinet minister and opposition leader Rishad Bathiudeen was arrested in April along with his brother for what police claimed was suspected connections to the 2019 Easter bombings. Most recently, a 16 year old girl who worked at the family’s house was found, having died of burn injuries.

Since this has happened, some social media posts and media and hashtag replies have contained anti-Muslim rhetoric and division-creating commentary. Because Bathiudeen is a high profile person, there are people who will use this as a justification to spread Islamophobia and propaganda.

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Articles:

Sri Lanka’s Rajapaksa family tightens grip with ministerial picks
In Sri Lanka, teachers resist Bill ‘militarising’ education
46th session of the Human Rights Council Report of OHCHR on promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka (A/HRC/46/20)
Sri Lanka arrests top Muslim leader over 2019 Easter attacks
 Rishad Bathiudeen’s domestic helper dies at hospital 12 days after receiving burn injuries

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