Sri Lanka

21 million people
2,580 USD GNI (PPP)
Internet:
Partly Free
Press:
Not Free
Partly Free

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Freedom House condemns the arbitrary arrest and detention of two Sri Lankan human rights activists on March 16 and calls for their immediate release.

Issues: 
Civil Society, Freedom of Association, Freedom of Expression, Human Rights Defense, Rule of Law
Regions: 
Asia-Pacific
written by
Tyler Roylance
Staff Editor



It was reported last week that Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa, the current chair-in-office of the 53-nation Commonwealth, may not attend the annual Commonwealth Day celebrations in London on March 10. A recent UN human rights report and data from Freedom House’s Freedom in the World survey suggest that he has good reason to avoid the spotlight.

written by
Peter Savodnik
Guest Blogger

Photo Caption: Nasser Shaikh leaves flowers at the grave of his brother, Khuram Shaikh.
On Christmas Eve 2011, Khuram Shaikh was murdered and his girlfriend, Victoria Tkacheva, was gang-raped while they were vacationing at a resort on the southernmost tip of Sri Lanka. Soon after, eight suspects, including Sampath Chandra Pushpa Vidanapathirana, a local political figure with ties to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, were arrested. Eleven months later, they were released on bail. One imagines the regime hoped that everyone would just forget about it and move on, and that is basically what happened. Of course, Khuram’s family, starting with his brother, Nasser, never forgot. But most everyone else did, and the story receded into the morass of terrible stories, in Sri Lanka and elsewhere.

Regions: 
written by
Sarah Trister
Senior Advocacy Manager

Bolivia’s expulsion of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) this month is a troubling development on its own, but when viewed in the context of similar actions by other governments, it raises questions about the future of American foreign assistance in the face of authoritarianism.

Experts

Project Director of "Freedom of the Press"


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