PRG expresses its concern over the Government of Sri Lanka’s move to arbitrarily impose limitations on the establishment of Muslim places of worship

By |October 21st, 2020|Articles on Sri Lanka, Statements|

People’s Rights Group (PRG), a rights based advocacy and lobbying group focusing on human rights violations in Sri Lanka expresses its concern over the Government of Sri Lanka’s move to arbitrarily impose limitations on the establishment of Muslim places of worship. In a circular (No MRCA/W/1/2020/01) referring to decision No WB/8598/2020 [...]

Declining Role Of Intellectuals In These Times Of Populism – A Tragedy For Mankind!

By |September 6th, 2020|Articles on Sri Lanka, Lukman Harees|

The intellectual debility of contemporary conservatism is indicated by its silence on all important matters’ ~ Christopher Lasch In times of populism, soundbites, and policy-by-Twitter such as we live in today, the first victims to suffer the slings and arrows of the demagogues are intellectuals. These people have been demonised for [...]

Increasing Muslim Law Students Becomes An ‘Invasion’! In A Land Like No Other!

By |July 31st, 2020|Articles on Sri Lanka, Lukman Harees|

“Racism is man’s gravest threat to man – the maximum of hatred for a minimum of reason.” ~ Abraham Heschel Will Rogers once said “everything is changing. People are taking their comedians seriously and the politicians as a joke”. Judging by what former State Intelligence Service (SIS) Director SDIG Nilantha Jayawardena [...]

On Hejaaz Hizbullah: The latest victim of Sri Lanka’s draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act

By |July 15th, 2020|Articles on Sri Lanka, Thyagi Ruwanpathirana|

As much of the island was celebrating the Sinhala and Tamil New Year, senior lawyer and minority and civic rights activist Hejaaz Hizbullah got an unusual call from the Ministry of Health. They said they were worried he may have contracted COVID-19 and advised him to remain at home. Hejaaz had [...]

Mainstreaming Of Hate (Thanks) To Racist Ghosts: A Recipe For Disaster For Sri Lanka!

By |July 10th, 2020|Articles on Sri Lanka, Lukman Harees|

Listening to a recent venomous speech by the hate monk Ven Ratana mouthing many inaccuracies and canards about everything Muslim, it needs no rocket science to predict the nearing of an explosion of a social volcano and an impending disaster, in the likes of Aluthgama or Digana. Ever since the Easter [...]

Freedom of peaceful assembly and of association in Sri Lanka

By |July 10th, 2020|Articles on Sri Lanka, Statements|

Thank you, Madam President. As the Special Rapporteur’s report demonstrates,[2] the space for Sri Lankan civil society is rapidly shrinking. For several months now, civil society organisations have been subject to intensified military surveillance and questioning by different government authorities.[3] Worryingly, the COVID-19 pandemic has been exploited by the Sri Lankan [...]

Is Sri Lanka On It’s Way To Becoming A Dictatorship?

By |July 6th, 2020|Articles on Sri Lanka|

A new infographic reveals how President Gotabaya Rajapaksa is ruling Sri Lanka, as if he is autonomous, through powerful militarised task forces that bypass the usual checks and balances of a democratically elected parliament. These bodies are unelected and report directly to the President requiring the full cooperation of the Sri [...]

Coronavirus funerals: Sri Lanka’s Muslims decry forced cremation

By |July 5th, 2020|Articles on Sri Lanka, BBC|

Sri Lankan authorities are insisting on cremation for coronavirus victims - a practice forbidden by Islam. The nation's minority Muslim community says they are using the pandemic to discriminate, writes BBC Sinhala's Saroj Pathirana. On 4 May, Fathima Rinoza, a 44-year-old mother of three from Sri Lanka's minority Muslim population, was [...]

Public statement regarding allegations and threats against Yasmin Sooka by the Government of Sri Lanka

By |July 4th, 2020|Articles on Sri Lanka, Statements|

The undersigned organisations and individuals wish to express our strenuous opposition to the unfounded allegations made by the Government of Sri Lanka against Ms Yasmin Sooka. These allegations and threats against Ms Sooka seek to undermine Ms Sooka’s long standing reputation as a human rights defender and globally recognised justice advocate. [...]

International Social Justice organisations support SA human rights activist threatened by Sri Lanka

By |July 2nd, 2020|Articles on Sri Lanka|

By Howard Varney & Piers Pigou Veteran South African human rights campaigner, Yasmin Sooka, is in the crosshairs of efforts to discredit her by the Sri Lankan government. She, and her small non-governmental organisation – the International Truth and Justice Project – is accused of inciting violence against the Sri Lankan [...]

Rights Lawyers Under Fire in Sri Lanka

By |July 1st, 2020|Articles on Sri Lanka, Ruki Fernando|

Last month (May 2020) a Magistrate in Jaffna had withdrawn quarantine orders against the organizers of end of war commemorations, based on appeals by lawyers.[1] At least three lawyers have faced reprisals in the days afterwards. Attorney-at-Law Mr. Roy Dilaksan’s house was reported to have been attacked by unknown persons.[2]  Another [...]

Gnanasara Thero Once Again Inciting Sinhalese Against Muslims

By |June 26th, 2020|Articles on Sri Lanka, Latheef Farook|

Malicious campaign pushing discriminated and frustrated Muslims to wall Few weeks ago Ven Galagoda Atte Gnanasara Thero, known for inciting Sinhalese and unleashing violence against Muslims, said he would dissolve his organisation Bodu Bala Sena as it has achieved its target of setting up a Sinhala Buddhist government without minority support. [...]

Sri Lanka End Persecution of Journalist Dharisha Bastians Targeted for Reports, Defense of Human Rights

By |June 24th, 2020|Articles on Sri Lanka, News / Incidents, Reports|

The Sri Lankan authorities should stop targeting, intimidating and harassing journalist and woman human rights defender Dharisha Bastians and her family. The Committee to Protect Journalists, Reporters Without Borders, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Front Line Defenders condemn this assault on human rights and press freedom in Sri Lanka and [...]

UN Special Rapporteur warns of Sri Lanka’s ‘climate of intimidation’

By |June 20th, 2020|Articles on Sri Lanka, Tamil Guardian|

UN Special Rapporteur, Clément Nyaletsossi Voule, has stated that the increasing surveillance in Sri Lanka in 2019, particularly after the Easter Sunday attacks, “is clearly aimed at creating a climate of intimidation," and warned that the North-East remained "heavily militarized". Voule’s report notes that despite the end of the armed conflict [...]

Sri Lanka Torture Map

By |June 19th, 2020|Articles on Sri Lanka, Reports|

Johannesburg: To mark the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture on 26 June, two organisations have produced the first torture map of Sri Lanka. It plots 219 sites throughout the island allegedly used for torture of Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims by the army, police, navy and paramilitaries over the [...]

Archaeological Task Force To Shrink Space For Muslims

By |June 17th, 2020|Ameer Ali, Articles on Sri Lanka|

“I will tell you a little secret about archaeologists, dear Reader. They all pretend to be very high minded. They claim that their sole aim in excavation is to uncover mysteries of the past and add to the store of human knowledge. They lie. What they really want is a spectacular [...]

To bury or to burn: That is the question!

By |June 10th, 2020|Articles on Sri Lanka, SMM Bazeer|

““Learned institutions ought to be favourite objects with every free people. They throw that light over the public mind which is the best security against crafty and dangerous encroachments on the public liberty.” ― James Madison The outcry for burial of Muslims who succumbed to COVID-19 had until recently been an [...]

Police Brutality & Racism: Parallels Between Black Floyd In US & Muslim Tariq In Sri Lanka!

By |June 5th, 2020|Articles on Sri Lanka, Lakmal Harischandra|

As the protests against the racist killing of black George Floyd are taking momentum in the US, the subject of police brutality is coming to the public fore, casting doubt on the role of the Police as peace officers and their impartiality. In Sri Lanka too, the unacceptable conduct of some [...]

UN Human Rights Chief Slams Clampdown On Freedom Of Expression In Sri Lanka And Other Asia-Pacific Countries During COVID19 Outbreak

By |June 3rd, 2020|Articles on Sri Lanka, Reports|

Original Report: Asia: Bachelet alarmed by clampdown on freedom of expression during COVID-19 GENEVA (3 June 2020) - UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet expressed alarm at the clampdown on freedom of expression in parts of the Asia-Pacific during the COVID-19 crisis, saying any actions taken to stop [...]

Compulsory cremation: A nightmare for Sri Lanka’s Muslims

By |May 14th, 2020|Articles on Sri Lanka, Lukman Harees|

The World Health Organization says burials are safe for Covid-19 victims. So why is Sri Lanka's government insisting on cremating all bodies? The meme ‘Dying While Muslim’ may not be as familiar as ‘Flying While Muslim’ - which came into prominence in the post-9/11 years when Muslims began to experience Islamophobia [...]

Sri Lanka: Muslims face extra threat as coronavirus stirs hate

By |May 11th, 2020|Articles on Sri Lanka|

Sri Lanka makes cremations compulsory for COVID-19 victims, but Muslims and activists urge authorities to allow burials. The grief-stricken family of Zubair Fathima Rinosa in Sri Lanka's capital Colombo is demanding justice and explanation after tests, released two days after her body had been cremated, showed that the 44-year-old Muslim woman [...]

Anguish as Sri Lanka forces Muslims to cremate COVID-19 victims

By |April 3rd, 2020|Al Jazeera, Articles on Sri Lanka|

Rights group and activists accuse gov't of forcing cremation of Muslim COVID-19 victims in disregard to WHO guidelines. The forced cremation of two COVID-19 infected Muslims in Sri Lanka has sent shock waves among the minority community, which accused the authorities of violating Islamic burial rites. Bishrul Hafi Mohammed Joonus, a [...]

Denying Burial Rights to the Sri Lankan Muslims – Contradicts WHO Guidelines and Self Defeating!

By |April 2nd, 2020|Articles on Sri Lanka|

The Government of Sri Lanka(GoSL), withdraws the option which was available under Public Health Guidelines to allow the burial of the deceased Covid-19 victims,  which adversely affects the religious rights of the Muslim Community of Sri Lanka. This adverse decision was taken contrary to the guidelines issued by the World Health [...]