Keystone Cops

A significant problem facing the average Sri Lankan citizen is the real possibility of being illegally arrested, illegally held long past the judicial period of 24 hours and brutally tortured to confess to a crime or crimes they have no knowledge of. There is a huge list of arrests of this type which anyone from…

President Rajapakse’s War Against the Press

Top ministers in the administration of Sri Lankan President Rajapakse over recent months have personally been involved in a growing number of violent incidents against members of the press, including the use of thugs to attempt to beat them up, and issuing threats against any journalists who don’t see things the government’s way. The most…

A Sri Lankan Rights Commission Goes Nowhere

In January 2007, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse, under pressure from human rights activists around the world, did what politicians always do when they want to pass the buck. He created a body with the cumbersome name of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry to Investigate and Inquire into Alleged Serious Violations of Human Rights. Known…

Civilians Become Cannon Fodder in Sri Lanka

Murderous attacks on civilians in Sri Lanka appear to be on the increase with several bombings in the last few days in and around Colombo, the capital. The latest attack came last Friday and killed at least 21 people who were travelling on a bus. Twice that many were injured, the numbers including woman and…

Education Survives Amid War in Sri Lanka

"The Future. Today." boasts a rusty billboard pushing mobile phone service in Batticaloa, a coastal town in Sri Lanka’s troubled eastern province. Batticaloa is at the center of a renewed military campaign to drive out the separatist forces of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. From bases around the district and from the town itself,…

The Flying Tigers of Tamil Eelam Buzz Sri Lanka

 Photo of the Galle Face Hotel in happier times, by Glenn Sundeen At 1:50 am Sunday, when most of Colombo was either sleeping or watching Sri Lanka’s cricketing heroes succumb to Australia in the final of the World Cup being played a dozen time zones away in Barbados in front of their junketing president, Mahinda…

War of Words Over a Sri Lankan Literary Festival

What though the spicy breezes blow soft o’er Ceylon’s isle/ Where ev’ry prospect pleases, and only man is vile?                                                        --Bishop Heber Is it appropriate for a registered charity dedicated to Sri Lanka’s December 2004 tsunami relief to sponsor a foreign literary festival in the middle of what to all intents and purposes is an…
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