• The Sri Lankan government failed to advance justice for the victims of the country’s 26-year-long civil war in 2011. While Sri Lanka’s war-ravaged North and East became more open, the government deepened repression of basic freedoms, notably limiting the right to free speech. The long-awaited Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission report on the fighting failed to call for investigations into well-documented allegations of violations of international humanitarian law. The government largely ignored complaints of insecurity and land grabbing. The Tamil population in the North benefitted from greater access by humanitarian and local human rights groups and the media, but inadequate steps were taken to normalize their living conditions.

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  • Short Caption: Muslims stand next to a burnt shop after a clash between Buddhists and Muslims in Aluthgama on June 16, 2014.
    The Sri Lankan authorities should urgently investigate recent deadly violence against minority Muslim communities, Human Rights Watch said today. The violence, which began on June 15, 2014, after a rally led by the ultranationalist Buddhist Bodhu Bala Sena (BBS) organization, left at least four Muslims dead, 80 injured, and numerous homes and businesses destroyed in the town of Aluthgama and surrounding areas.

Reports

Sri Lanka

  • Jul 2, 2014
  • Jul 2, 2014
    At least 142 Pakistanis arrested in police sweeps in June 2014 are being detained and are at risk of deportation.
  • Jun 19, 2014
    The Sri Lankan authorities should urgently investigate recent deadly violence against minority Muslim communities, Human Rights Watch said today. The violence, which began on June 15, 2014, after a rally led by the ultranationalist Buddhist Bodhu Bala Sena (BBS) organization, left at least four Muslims dead, 80 injured, and numerous homes and businesses destroyed in the town of Aluthgama and surrounding areas.
  • Jun 16, 2014
  • May 27, 2014
    Sri Lankan authorities should ensure the safety of two refugees and an asylum seeker whom Malaysia forcibly returned to Sri Lanka in violation of international law.
  • May 19, 2014
    The Sri Lankan government should comply with the March 2014 United Nations Human Rights Council resolution creating an international investigation into allegations of serious abuses by both sides during Sri Lanka’s civil war, Human Rights Watch said today. The resolution calls on the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to investigate violations of the laws of war and serious human rights violations. The week of March 18 marks the fifth anniversary of the end of the conflict that resulted in the defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
  • Apr 7, 2014
    The Sri Lankan government’s decision to label 16 overseas Tamil organizations as financers of terrorism is so broad that it appears aimed at restricting peaceful activism by the country’s Tamil minority, Human Rights Watch said today. The government should provide evidence of the unlawful activity of specific groups and individuals or remove them from the list.
  • Mar 26, 2014
    This is the third year running that a resolution on Sri Lanka has been discussed at the Human Rights Council. In spite of two previous resolutions giving the Sri Lankan government ample opportunity to credibly address accountability for the many violations of international humanitarian law outlined in its own Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) report as well as the UN Secretary-General’s Panel of Experts report, there has been no evidence of meaningful progress. This has been forcefully reported by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, both in her statement after her August 2013 visit to Sri Lanka, and in her comprehensive written report delivered to the Human Rights Council today.
  • Mar 26, 2014
    Members of the United Nations Human Rights Council should vote for a resolution calling on the UN’s human rights office to investigate allegations of war crimes by all sides during the final months of Sri Lanka’s civil war, Human Rights Watch said today. The vote on the resolution is expected on March 27, 2014.
  • Mar 18, 2014