Human Rights in Sri Lanka in 2021

As 2021 comes to an end, we have been looking back over some of the key developments in human rights, justice, and accountability in Sri Lanka over the last year. This has been an extremely challenging year in Sri Lanka, as an increasingly militarised, authoritarian,...

Preserving Sri Lankan Heritage, or Entrenching Buddhist Supremacy?

On 2 June 2020, whilst the Sri Lankan parliament had been dissolved since March pending delayed elections, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa announced the formation of two new Presidential Taskforces. One of these Taskforces, ‘for Archaeological Heritage Management in the...

Human Rights Roundup: June

Here we look at some of the key developments in human rights, justice, and accountability in Sri Lanka over the month of June.  Bail for Shani Abeysekara Shani Abeysekara, the former director of the Criminal Investigation Department, who was arrested in late July 2020...

A Year On: Hejaaz Hizbullah Still Imprisoned

On 14 April 2020, prominent human rights lawyer Hejaaz Hizbullah was arrested by Sri Lankan security forces under the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) for alleged involvement in the tragic Easter Sunday bombings in 2019. Hejaaz has been denied unrestricted...

Dynastic Politics: Rajapaksa Family Control of the State Budget

The government of Sri Lanka is dominated by the family of the president, Gotabaya Rajapaksa. By occupying 9 ministerial roles, including 7 out of 30 positions on the cabinet, the Rajapaksa family controls nearly a quarter of Sri Lanka’s state budget. In the midst of a...