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In September 2017, my colleague and I met Jesintha Peiris.
 
 Jesintha’s husband and son were among the tens of thousands who disappeared in Sri Lanka’s three-decade-long civil war. They had gone to Colombo in August 2008 to apply for a visa to…
 A Sri Lankan Tamil man holds a placard during a protest in Colombo on August 21, 2018, demanding the release of lands still occupied by the military.
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A new treaty to deepen the link between environmental protection and human rights in Latin America and the Caribbean has the potential to reduce the conflicts that lead to the murders of so many environmental defenders in the region. 
 
 The…
Bernardo, a man in his 30s, was born in a quilombo (Afro-Brazilian) community of around 60, men, women, and children in Minas Gerais State, southeast Brazil. Bernardo told Human Rights Watch that he feels powerless against aerial spraying of pesticides. “
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Editor's Note: On September 6, in a unanimous verdict, the Supreme Court decriminalised same-sex relations, through the repeal of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. Chief justice Misra described Section 377 as “irrational, indefensible and manifestly…
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Click to expand Image Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena…
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena addresses the 72nd United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York, September 19, 2017.
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 In November 2015, I sat in a small circle of plastic chairs outside a rustic hotel in Sri Lanka’s coastal town of Ambalangoda. Against a backdrop of fruit trees and waves lapping the shore I listened to horrific stories from six gay, bisexual, and…
Sashini, a transgender woman in Colombo, has formally petitioned the National Human Rights Commission to urge the government to recognize her as female by issuing her official documents that reflect her livedgender. © 2016 Samantha
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The refrain I heard over and over again, travelling through Sri Lanka’s southern Sinhala belt, was this: “Politicians rise on the bodies of our dead children.” 
 Parent after parent, across political divides, repeated this phrase. Politicians, they…
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The draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) remains in force, and there have been several arrests under this law in the past year
 Civil society groups are once again able to speak out safely on issues of concern
 There has been no tangible…
Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera speaks during a news conference on a UN report about Sri Lanka’s civil conflict, in Colombo on September 17, 2015.
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This week, Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is visiting Australia. Besides growing economic cooperation, apparently 'enhanced cooperation on development and sport' between the two nations is on the agenda. But let’s hope that beyond…
A Tamil woman cries as she holds up an image of her family member who disappeared during the civil war with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) at a vigil to commemorate the international day of the disappeared in Colombo August 30, 2013.
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As Donald Trump prepares to take office, many fear a new hostility to human rights on the part of the United States. From his divisive rhetoric about minorities to his embrace of autocrats abroad, there is plenty to worry about…
U.S. President Barack Obama waves at the conclusion of his final State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in Washington January 12, 2016.