Killing Tamil Civilians: OHCHR Slams Special Presidential Pardon Of Former Army Officer

“Pardoning one of the sole convicted perpetrators of atrocities committed during the Sri Lankan conflict further undermines the limited progress the country has made towards ending impunity for mass human rights abuse,” the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said today. Mass Murder Convict Staff Sergeant Sunil Ratnayake Issuing a statement on release of former staff sergeant R.M. Sunil Ratnayake on a special presidential pardon the OHCHR said: “We are troubled by reports that the convicted perpetrator of the Mirusuvil massacre, in Sri Lanka, has received a Presidential Pardon…

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Justice Undone For Massacre Victims – Presidential Pardon Shows Rajapaksa’s Indifference To Army Atrocities: HRW

Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s pardon of a soldier convicted of massacring eight civilians, including children, shows the administration’s disregard for justice for the worst abuses, Human Rights Watch said today. The conviction of former Sgt. Sunil Ratnayake had been one of the very few cases of security force personnel being criminally punished for civil war-era atrocities, despite the huge number of credible and extremely serious allegations. Ratnayake, who was pardoned on March 26, 2020, was found guilty in 2015 of killing eight civilians, including a 5-year-old, at Mirusuvil, in northern Sri Lanka, in 2000. The…

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UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson tests positive

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tested positive for coronavirus. Mr Johnson said he had developed mild symptoms over the past 24 hours, including a temperature and cough. He is self-isolating in Downing Street but said he will “continue to lead the government’s response via video-conference as we fight this virus”. Mr Johnson was last seen on Thursday night, clapping outside No 10 as part of a nationwide gesture to thank NHS staff and carers. In a video on his Twitter account, Mr Johnson, 55, said: “I’m working from home and self-isolating and…

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British visitors urged to leave Sri Lanka

British visitors have been urged to leave Sri Lanka as long as outbound flights are still operating. The British High Commission in Colombo advised all British visitors to leave while commercial flight options are still available. British High Commissioner Sarah Hulton tweeted saying there are more than 100 seats available on tomorrow’s (29 March) SriLankan Airlines flight from Colombo to London. “We strongly advise British visitors in Sri Lanka to return to UK while these commercial options are still available,” the High Commission said. The High Commission also noted that the…

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Arbitrary release of a convicted military officer calls for a rethink on international strategies on Sri Lanka

Spokesperson – Global Tamil Forum  Tel: +44 7958 590196Skype: surendiransTwitter: @surendirans PRESS STATEMENT 28 March 2020, London Arbitrary release of a convicted military officer calls for a rethink on international strategies on Sri Lanka The Global Tamil Forum (GTF) strongly condemns Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa’s decision to pardon and release Sunil Ratnayake, an army officer on death row for killing eight internally displaced Tamil civilians, including a five-year-old child and two teenagers, in December 2000 during the country’s civil war. In 2015, after a 13-year trial, the Colombo High Court…

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TNA Spokesperson M. A. Sumanthiran Strongly Condemns the Presidential Pardon Given to Ex-Army Sergeant Sunil Ratnayake Who was Sentenced to Death for Killing in Cold Blood Eight Tamil Civilians Including a Child at Mirusuvil in the Northern Province

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Spokesperson and former MP, M.A.Sumanthiran, has reacted sharply to the Presidential pardon given on Thursday to Sri Lankan Army Sergeant R M Sunil Rathnayake, who was sentenced to death for killing in cold blood, eight Tamil captives including a child at Mirusuvil in Tamil-speaking North Lanka in 2000. Sumanthiran pointed out that it was only in May 2017 that a five-member bench of the Supreme Court had confirmed the death sentence passed against Rathnayake by a three-member bench of the Colombo High Court in 2015. MA…

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Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa Pardons and Releases Soldier On Death Row for Killing Eight Tamil Civilians Including a Child and Two Teen-agers while Justice,Human Rights and Legal Reforms Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva says “Constitutionally Mandated Procedure for Pardon was Followed”.

By Meera Srinivasan Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Thursday pardoned and released an Army man who was on death row for killing eight Tamil civilians, including a five-year-old and two teenagers, in 2000 during the civil war. “The President has instructed the Ministry of Justice to release Sgt Ratnayake from prison,” a spokeswoman at the Presidential Media Division said. In 2015, Staff Sergeant Sunil Ratnayake was convicted for the killings in Mirusuvil, Jaffna Peninsula, and sentenced to death. In 2019, the Supreme Court affirmed the conviction and sentence.*************************Sri Lanka’s…

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Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s Arbitrary Act Conveys “Extremely worrying Message that military Perpetrators of Horrific Crimes, Even if Convicted Through a Court of Law, Will be Pardoned and Released” Says Amnesty International

Where accountability is so rare for serious human rights violations in Sri Lanka, the government’s arbitrary decision to release Sergeant Rathnayaka sends an extremely worrying message said Amnesty International’s Regional Director for South Asia, Biraj Patnaik,Responding to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s decision to release Sergeant Sunil Rathnayaka. The pardon comes at a time when there are public calls to ease prison crowding by releasing prisoners held for, amongst others, petty crimes and those who are unable to meet bail conditions, to avoid the spread of COVID-19. Sgt. Sunil Rathnayaka Amnesty International…

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UK advises Britons in Sri Lanka to return as Coronavirus trigger airport closures

ECONOMYNEXT – United Kingdom has asked Britons in Sri Lanka and elsewhere to return in an “exceptional travel advisory” note, while the home country is also in a worsening Coronavirus crisis. “Flights to Sri Lanka have been suspended since 19 March. If you are visiting Sri Lanka, you are strongly advised to leave now, while commercial means are available,” the UK foreign office said in a warning to Britons. “Speak to your airline or tour company as soon as possible, as it is likely that flight options will become more restricted in…

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Sri Lanka pardons soldier who slaughtered Tamil civilians

COLOMBO (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s President on Thursday (March 26) pardoned and released an army officer on death row for slitting the throats of Tamil civilians, including four children, during the island’s bloody civil war. Mr Sunil Ratnayake was to be hanged for the December 2000 massacre in a case held up by previous Sri Lankan governments as an example of rare accountability over abuses committed during the conflict. A court convicted him of murdering eight members of the Tamil minority, including a five-year-old and three teenagers. They were killed…

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Sri Lanka must ensure China is held accountable:US Lawyer

He alleged that the novel coronavirus was designed by China to be a “biological weapon of war”, a claim, which seems far-fetched, but Klayman is convinced otherwise Well there have been a lot of reports. Experts have said this was most likely a bio weapons leak. But in the American system you know once the case is filed and it gets past preliminary motions you can get discovery you can get documents You know what’s interesting is that the country which reportedly has the most promising vaccine is Israel. And…

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Justice reversed for victims of the Mirusuvil massacre, Sri Lanka.

Responding to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s decision to release Sergeant Sunil Rathnayaka, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for South Asia, Biraj Patnaik, said: Where accountability is so rare for serious human rights violations in Sri Lanka, the government’s arbitrary decision to release Sergeant Rathnayaka sends an extremely worrying message.  “Where accountability is so rare for serious human rights violations in Sri Lanka, the government’s arbitrary decision to release Sergeant Rathnayaka sends an extremely worrying message. It means that military perpetrators of horrific crimes, even if convicted through a court of law, will be…

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Curfew for 4 districts in Northern Province & Puttalam lifted temporarily

The ongoing curfew in the districts of Puttalam, Vavuniya, Mannar, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu and Jaffna was temporarily lifted at 6.00 am today (27) and will come to effect again at 2.00 pm in the afternoon. The curfew in these areas will continue till 6.00 am on Monday (30) and will be re-imposed at 2.00 pm on the same day. In the meantime, the President’s Media Division yesterday stated that the curfew imposed in the districts of Colombo, Kalutara and Gampaha, which were identified as High-Risk Zones in view of the spread…

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Sri Lankan living in Switzerland dies of Coronavirus

A Sri Lankan residing in Switzerland has died after contracting the coronavirus (COVID-19), says the Ministry of Foreign Relations. “The Sri Lanka Embassy in Berlin has informed the Ministry that the Swiss authorities have confirmed that the Sri Lankan aged 59 years who died in Switzerland on 25 March had tested positive for COVID-19.” “The deceased was from Punkuduthivu in Northern Province and held residence permit in Switzerland,” the Spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. He is the first Sri Lankan national to succumb to the deadly…

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Consular Services at Sri Lanka Missions in UK limited

Towards limiting the transmission of COVID-19 and to ensure effective implementation of the travel restrictions imposed on the newly designated countries,  the Ministry of Foreign Relations has initiated action to regulate the consular services with effect from 15th March midnight 1259 hrs in Brussels, London and Oslo. The decision stems from the fact that the Government has renewed the list of designated countries adding three more destinations and to ably support the efforts at restricting all inbound travels of personnel from point of origins deemed potentially threatening and contemplating lockdown, the Foreign Ministry said today. Accordingly, from 16 March 2020, consular services…

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Jaffna International Airport closed for two weeks

The Government has decided to temporarily close the Jaffna International Airport (JIA). Accordingly, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said that the airport will be closed for two weeks with immediate effect. The decision has been taken as part of efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus in Sri Lanka. Domestic airlines and a budget airline travelling between India and Sri Lanka operate at the Jaffna airport. (Colombo Gazette) more

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Flights to Sri Lanka from UK suspended

Flights to Sri Lanka from the United Kingdom, Norway and Belgium have been suspended from tomorrow (16), the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said. The Civil Aviation Authority said that the ban will be in effect for two weeks. The decision has been taken in order to contain the spread of the coronavirus in Sri Lanka. “This is to inform all online carriers and offline carriers that according to the instructions received from Sri Lanka Health Authorities, all travel beginning from the United Kingdom, Belgium and Norway will be banned for…

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Sri Lanka is being invaded by an anti-democracy virus

Much like the Covid-19 virus, Sri Lanka is being invaded by an anti-democracy virus which tells us a strong man is needed to rule with a rod of iron, that civil liberties do not matter and that constitutional amendments that fetter the powers of rulers are a nuisance. By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene Much like the covid-19 virus which attacks the respiratory systems of victims with lethal force and has brought the global North virtually to its knees, Sri Lanka is being invaded by an anti-democracy virus. We are told that,…

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Visa for Europeans suspended for 2 weeks

Several firm decisions have been taken under the guidance of President Gotabaya and Prime Minister Mahinda to combat COVID -19 in the country. *Visa for Europeans suspended for 2 weeks *Two-week quarantine period for Sri Lankans arriving from EuropeMeasures to disinfect public transport *Case studies on China’s success*Directives to minimize public gatherings *Utilize internet for educational and service purposes Several firm decisions have been taken under the guidance of President and Prime Minister to combat COVID -19 in the country. Measures initiated by the Government since January have been instrumental…

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