Human rights in Sri Lanka
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Politics and government of
Major human rights groups such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, as well as the United States Department of State and the European Union, have expressed concern about the state of human rights in Sri Lanka. Both the government of Sri Lanka and the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) are accused of violating human rights. Amnesty International stated in 2003 that there was a considerable improvement in the human rights situation attributed to the peaceful context of a ceasefire and peace talks between the government and the LTTE. In their 2006 report, however, Amnesty International stated that "escalating political killings, child recruitment, abductions and armed clashes created a climate of fear in the east, spreading to the north by the end of the year," while also outlining concerns with violence against women, the death penalty, and "numerous reports of torture in police custody." Although Sri Lanka has not officially practiced the death penalty since 1976, well-documented cases of state-sponsored 'disappearances' and murders by non-partisan humanitarian organizations, notably Human Rights Watch, contradict official statements. In 2012, the UK charity Freedom from Torture reported that it had received 233 referalls of torture survivors from Sir Lanka for clinical treatment or other services provided by the charity.
Sri Lanka has been embroiled in a civil war for more than two decades. More than 64,000 people have been killed and more than one million have been displaced since 1983. In July 1983, the most savage anti-minority pogrom in Sri Lanka's history, known as the Black July riots, erupted. Government appointed commission's estimates put the death toll at nearly 1,000. mostly minority Sri Lankan Tamils. died or 'disappeared' over the course of the three-year government crackdown.
Abuses by the government 
The Eastern province of Sri Lanka was taken over by Sri Lankan Forces after heavy fighting in 1990. Even after government forces moved in early 1990 large number of disappearance and extrajudicial execution were continued. By October 1990, 3,000 people were estimated to have been killed or to have disappeared in Amparai district. Further Many of the disappeared people were believed to have been killed as a result of extrajudicial execution. Likewise in Batticaloa another 1,500 people were reported to have disappeared. The LTTE terrorists continued to kill innocent people in the Eastern Province. They killed Muslims gathered in two mosques, for Friday prayers. Also more than 700 unarmed policemen were murdered, cold blood. A bus full of Buddhist monks were killed at Aranthalawa. However, the true perpetrators of the disappearances are yet to be determined, with the Sri Lankan government and the rebels both accusing each other.
The European Union also condemned Sri Lankan security forces in the year 2000 concerning human rights, after fighting displaced 12,000 civilians.
The US State Department has stated that "The civilian authorities generally maintained effective control of the security forces, although some members of the security forces committed serious human right abuses".
Shooting of Tamil media workers Sahathevan Nilakshan, also spelt Sahadevan Nilakshan was a minority Sri Lankan Tamil student journalist and the head of the Chaalaram magazine. Sahadevan was shot dead inside his house during nighttime curfew in an area heavily guarded by the Sri Lankan Army. Sahadevan was part of a series of killing of Tamil media workers particularly those seen supporting the Tamil nationalist cause as Chaalaram magazine for which he worked was linked to the Federation of Jaffna District Students was seen supporting Tamil nationalism. It was seen as part of the intimidation of Tamil media.
2009 During the final stages of Eelam War IV, the population of Tamil Eelam was forced into a small pocket in Northern Jaffna, both by the advance of Government forces as well as the LTTE not letting them leave. To beat back the Tamil Forces, the SLA used heavy artillery shells, rounds capable of destroying entire bunkers. As the civilian population retreated further inwards towards the coast, UN aid workers accompanied the civilians, distributing food and building bunkers. The UN convoys, which contained thousands of peoples, gave their coordinates to both LTTE and SLA officials, who both promised not to fire on the convoys. However, as the Convoys were pulling away, they came under extremely heavy bombardment. Thousands upon thousands of peoples died in these brutal bombardments, and many UN and IRIC aid workers were killed in the bombardments. According to witnesses, the bombardments were undeniably from SLA artillery shells, as people could see the rounds coming from the government side. When UN officials sent pleas to the SLA to stop the bombardment, the SLA didn't listen, and continued with the bombardment. One Convoy, convoy 11, retreated to a hospital that was in the no fire zone. Here, people thought they could have refugee, but as nightfall came, the hospital was bombed. Many patients, doctors, and UN aid workers were killed in this incident as well. The SLA bombed these peoples because the SLA was supposedly trying to kill any LTTE cadre in the area, although the majority of the LTTE troops were on the front lines fighting. When the Sri Lankan Government was asked about the bombardment, it told the press that it had not bombarded any civilians. It went as far as to show pictures of the very hospital that was mentioned earlier, entirely fine without any walls blown out or blood splattered on the ground. It denied any journalists from visiting the sites of the bombardments.
Abuses by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) 
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam have repeatedly been accused of attacks on civilians during their separatist guerrilla campaign. The US State Department reported several human rights abuses in 2005, but it specifically states that there were no confirmed reports of politically motivated killings by the government. The report states that, "they [LTTE] continued to control large sections of the north and east and engaged in politically motivated killings, disappearances, torture, arbitrary arrest and detention, denial of fair public trial, arbitrary interference with privacy, denial of freedom of speech, press, of assembly and association, and the recruitment of child soldiers". The report further accused the LTTE of extrajudicial killings in the North and East. Several members of the Eelam People's Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF) and the Eelam People's Democratic Party (EPDP) were illegally detained by the LTTE.
The LTTE committed massacres in the Northern and Eastern provinces of Sri Lanka. The number of civilians massacred were as high as 144 (Anuradhapura massacre). Some of the major attacks resulting in civilian deaths include the Kebithigollewa massacre, the Gonagala massacre (54 dead), the Dehiwala train bombing (56 dead), the Palliyagodella massacre (109 dead) and the bombing of Sri Lanka's Central Bank (102 dead). Further a Claymore antipersonnel mine attack by the LTTE on June 15, 2006 on a bus carrying 140 civilians killed 68 people including 15 children, and injured 60 others.
Tamil Tigers were also credited by FBI for the invention of suicide bra and suicide belt. Most of the targets of suicide attacks were made on civilians rather than the government forces.
in 1996 Bombs ripped Central Bank, cause spreading fires to Ceylinco and other buildings Two powerful bombs that exploded in quick succession at the Central Bank building,Ceylinco House opposite it and a row of adjoining smaller buildings engulfed in thick smoke and flames within minutes. The explosions widely believed to be the work of the LTTE were described by security sources as the most powerful ones set off in terrorist attacks in the city so far. According to eye witness accounts, an LTTE suicide squad had driven an explosives-packed truck into the Central Bank building firing at the security guards as they moved in. The devastating explosions had occurred seconds later causing an inferno. At least fifty people were feared killed directly by the two blasts while the fate of several thousands trapped inside the two burning high rise offices was unknown. The vibration triggered by the explosions damaged many buildings in the city’s commercial centre. Hundreds of their occupants were injured by the flying glass splinters and falling debris. 
Abuses by other groups 
Further, the TamilEela Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP), an armed organization led by Colonel Karuna, has been accused by many human rights and non-governmental organizations of recruiting children, torture, assassinations and engaging in extortion in its war against the LTTE. The TMVP was also involved in kidnappings for ransom of wealthy, predominantly Tamil, businessmen to raise money in Colombo and other towns. Some businessmen were killed because their family could not pay the ransom.
See also 
- Allegations of state terrorism in Sri Lanka
- Black July
- List of attacks attributed to the LTTE
- Military use of children in Sri Lanka
- Sri Lankan Civil War
- LGBT rights in Sri Lanka
- List of attacks attributed to the Sri Lankan military
References and further reading 
- Sri Lanka
- The EU's relations with Sri Lanka - Overview[dead link]
- 2006 Annual Report for Sri Lanka, Amnesty International USA, retrieved 2009-02-12
- Ste's Site - Death penalty in Sri Lanka[dead link]
- Recurring Nightmare: State Responsibility for "Disappearances" and Abductions in Sri Lanka
- President Kumaratunga's speech on the 21st Anniversary of 'Black July'
- Amnesty International Canada || News Release
- Asia Times: Sri Lanka: New rulers have bloody past
- Sri Lanka: The Northeast: Human rights violations in a context of armed conflict
- "Sri Lanka rapped over human rights". BBC News. April 3, 2000. Retrieved May 4, 2010.
- Line 5 http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2005/61711.htm
- CPJ Sahadevan Nilakshan, Chaalaram, August 1 2007, Jaffna
- Intimidation of Tamil media
- IFJ calls for end to brutal targeting of Lankan media[dead link]
- Sri Lanka
- Timeline of the Tamil conflict, BBC News, September 4, 2000
- United States Condemns Terrorist Attack on Sri Lankan Bus, US State Department
- FBI — Taming the Tamil Tigers
- Sri Lanka Database - Suicide Attacks by the LTTE
- "Sri Lanka", Human Rights Watch, August 9, 2007
- "Complicit in Crime: State Collusion in Abductions and Child Recruitment by the Karuna Group", Human Rights Watch 19, January 2007
- "Sri Lanka: Armed groups infiltrating refugee camps", Amnesty International, August 9, 2007[dead link]
- "Impunity reigns", Human Rights Watch (1(C)), August 9, 2007
- Government Complicit in Forced Recruitment of Young Tamils
- Sri Lanka: Letter to Pope Benedict XVI on the Situation In Sri Lanka
- Sri Lanka: Karuna Group and LTTE Continue Abducting and Recruiting Children
- ^ Home for Human Rights
- ^ Human Rights Watch
- ^ Amnesty International - Sri Lanka Human Rights Reports
- ^ Freedom of expression in Sr Lanka[dead link] - IFEX
- ^ Intellectuals for Human Rights
- information relating to human rights situation in Sri Lanka
- Peace and Conflict Timeline (PACT) - an interactive timeline of the Sri Lankan conflict
- List of Human Rights Violations in Sri Lanka
- Sri Lanka mission report[dead link]
- Nine recommendations for improving media freedom in Sri Lanka – RSF[dead link]
- Media in Sri Lanka[dead link]
- Free Speech in Sri Lanka[dead link]
- Mystery surrounds the brutal killing of a Tamil journalist, Asian Tribune