Tag Archives: NDAA

What arbitrary indefinite detentions for national security looks like, Sri Lanka edition

Yup, it appears that the Sri Lankan government is using its virtually unconstrained powers to kill political dissidents:

THE 2009 victory of the Sri Lankan government over the Tamil Tigers in the country’s long-running civil war may have brought peace, but it has been an uneasy one. Now people from all walks of life are disappearing. No-one knows why but some blame the government.

Colleagues of two political activists—Lalith Kumar Weeraraj and Kugan Murugananthan—who went missing in Sri Lanka’s north on December 9th, fear the men are in grave danger.

On January 9th hundreds of clamouring demonstrators marched through the capital Colombo. They demanded that the government release the activists, put an end to abductions in the north and pull the military out of former conflict areas. In fact, the opposite is happening.

Mr Weeraraj and Mr Murugananthan spent much of the past few months campaigning on behalf of hundreds of missing Tamils, many of whom were last seen in the custody of the security forces. The two were intercepted in the northern city of Jaffna by men on motorcycles, bundled into a white van and taken away.

Udul Premaratne, another prominent campaigner, insists that the army—controversially still deployed in large numbers in Jaffna—is responsible. But despite several eyewitness accounts (the incident occurred just before nightfall), the police say they have do not have enough evidence to proceed with the case.

This pattern is now chillingly familiar. In December a government-appointed body, the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), wrote in a report that it was alarmed by the large number of complaints of “abductions, enforced or involuntary disappearances, and arbitrary detentions”.

The rest of the article is over at the Economist.

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