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42 Political Activists and HRDs Detained and Prevented from Participating in Peaceful Protest in Jaffna Town on Human Rights Day

On December 10th 2011, a group of 42 HRDs and political activists from the South of Sri Lanka were detained by police in the Northern town of Jaffna and prevented from attending a protest to mark international human rights day in Jaffna. Events to mark Human Rights Day including protests in other parts of Sri […]

Sri Lankan Women Human Rights Defenders: Linking Past and Present Challenges

  As another year begins to draw to a close on post-war Sri Lanka, we can take stock of which changes, or the lack of change, we see around us. The full scope of human rights are still not available to civilians living in areas formerly controlled by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), […]

Post-war situation in Northern Sri Lanka & Prospects for Reconciliation

Changes since the end of the war: 30 months after the end of war, more people travel between the once off limits North[i] and the South and many of the travel restrictions have been eased. The dreaded Medawachiya checkpoint is no more, and since 2010, we have not taken a flight or ship to Jaffna, […]

Women Left Behind: Truth Commissioning in Sri Lanka

A mother displaying the photographs of his sons which are missing during the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) session in Trincomalee, December, 3-5, 2010. Photo courtesy Centre for Human Rights The power and promise of national exercises like the LLRC lie in the way that they can access the voices of those who have not […]

Destroying monuments for those killed & disappeared: The Catholic Church and the Sri Lankan Government

On the evening of 26th October 2011, Fr. Srilal Manoj Perera (appointed by Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith to be in charge of land issues for Archdiocese of Colombo), Fr. Prasad Perera, Parish Priest of St. Cecelia’s Church, Raddoluwa (in the Colombo Archdiocese), members of the Parish Council and a lawyer representing them, took the  unprecedented step […]

National Reconciliation, Transitional Justice, Rights and Accountability in Sri Lanka

Image credit Steve Chao, via Al Jazeera Good Afternoon; Esteemed and Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen; Dear friends Thank you for inviting me to share with you my thoughts on reconciliation. I will not devote much time here, to describe the history of the conflict or the background situation in Sri Lanka. The physical and […]

Re-displacement of Menik Farm inmates to Kombavil (Mullativu)

On 20th September 2011 the Government of Sri Lanka had announced that Menik Farm, hosting 7394 persons (2097 families) will be closed down.[i] The solution imposed on these people has been to send them to Kombavil, an interior village in the Mullativu district. Although the government claims the people are not allowed to go back […]

Grease Devils and Police and Army attacks on civilians in Mannar and Vavuniya

    Police attacks on civilians in Komarasankulam (Vavuniya district) 11 men were arrested by the Vavuniya Police in Komarasankulam at 10.30 pm on 20th August 2011.  The men were severely beaten before arrest and at least two persons were tortured inside the Vavuniya Police Station. Another man was arrested when he visited the police […]

A Kunanayakam by any other name?

Mercenaries with misplaced consciences appear to be leading Sri Lanka’s latest band of apologists. Seldom does a hired hand leave such a damning trail as does Tamara Kunanayakam, Ambassador/Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations Office at Geneva and other International Organizations in Switzerland. During the General Debate under Item 2 at the […]

Who is “Pulidaran?”: Reflections on International Day of Democracy

Photo courtesy Vikalpa Who is “Pulidaran?” What everyone knows – “On July 15, 2008, Pulidaran reportedly shot Kanapathipillai alias Satchi Master, while in Batticaloa prison.[1] What everyone does not, or chooses to ignore – “Pulidaran was a mere boy of 14 when he was arrested under suspicion of terrorism. Pulidaran was held for far longer […]

Human Rights in Sri Lanka: Impunity against Accountability and Justice

Image credit AP, via BBC News “There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth…not going all the way, and not starting.” – Lord Buddha Authors note: When I was a teenager, I heard from a Sinhala brother that he constantly felt guilty for being unable to protect nearly 70 000-80 000 Sinhala youth […]

Post-war, is the Sri Lankan Army going on a rampage in the North?

The Sri Lankan Army: Humane or heinous? Photo from Now Public [Editors note: Also read JAFFNA: BRUTAL ASSAULT OF CIVILIANS IN NAVANTHURAI and The attack on TNA Parliamentarians in Jaffna: A timeline of outrageous denials (Updated)] These days, the Sri Lankan Army appears to be somewhat bored. Despite increasing post-war forays into urban development, vegetable […]


Around 100 young men from Navanthurai, a village in the Jaffna District, were detained in an operation conducted by the Sri Lanka Army around 1.15am on 23rd August 2011. The villagers were severely beaten by the army and dragged to the main road near the Navanthurai Army Detachment located around 300 meters from the village. […]

Fr. Jim Brown and Mr. Vimalathas: Five years after disappearance, where are they and what has happened to the investigation?

  Fr. Jim Brown, a Catholic Priest from diocese of Jaffna in Northern Sri Lanka and his associate, Mr. Vimalathas, a father of five people, seem to be just two names and statistics in the long list of disappeared in Sri Lanka, particularly after the escalation of violence and war in the North since 2006. […]