Return to War: Human Rights under Siege

Return to War

Human Rights under Siege

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More on Human Rights Watch's work on Sri Lanka

More on Human Rights Watch's work on Torture and Abuse

Map of Sri Lanka

I. Summary

Abuses during armed conflict

Abductions and “disappearances”

Arbitrary arrests and detention

Karuna group abuses

Crackdown on dissent

Impunity reigns

An international role

Key recommendations


II. Background

2002 ceasefire agreement

Return to hostilities

III. Internal Displacement

LTTE prevents civilian flight

Violence and intimidation by the Karuna group

Forced returns

High Security Zones

IV. Attack at the Kathiravelli School

V. Enforced Disappearances and Abductions



Batticaloa, Trincomalee, and Ampara

Karuna group

The government’s response

VI. Tamil Evictions from Colombo

VII. Emergency Regulations

History of abuse

The Emergency (Miscellaneous Provisions and Powers) Regulations (EMPPR), August 2005

Emergency Regulation (Prevention and Prohibition of Terrorism and Specified Terrorist Activities) No. 7 of 2006

VIII. Freedom of Expression and Association

Attacks on media

Attacks on Uthayan and Sudar Oli

Blocking of Tamilnet website

Attacks on Sinhala media

Harassment by the Karuna group

Pressure on NGOs

IX. Karuna Group and State Complicity

X. Impunity for Rights Violations

Lack of witness protection

Non-implementation of the 17th Amendment

Inefficacy of the Human Rights Commission

Inadequacy of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry

The need for international leverage

XI. Recommendations

To the Government of Sri Lanka

To the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)

To the Karuna Group (TMVP and its military wing)

To donor governments


August 2007   Volume 19, No. 11(C)