Sri Lanka's positive human rights ranking in 2005 was virtually due to the fragile Cease-Fire Agreement (CFA) signed between the government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in February 2002.
In a glaring violation of the CFA, Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar was assassinated on 12 August 2005 allegedly by the LTTE which denied its involvement. The response of the Sri Lankan government to the assassination of Kadirgamar was a typical one: declaration of a state of emergency on 13 August 2005 and treat all the Tamils as suspects. Sri Lanka was under emergency throughout 2005.
Political freedoms, in particular, the right to freedom of association and peaceful assembly and the right to take part in the government, directly or through freely chosen representatives, was exercised more in Southern part of Sri Lanka.
In Northern and eastern parts of the country, the right to freedom of association and peaceful assembly were dealt with disproportionate force including killings by the security forces. On 3 March 2005, Sri Lankan army personnel reportedly opened fire on protesters comprising students and civilians near Jaffna University resulting in the death of 65-year-old Mr. Kathirgamu and injury to another. The students and civilians were protesting against the death of twelve-year-old Ms Nagendran Thulashika, a schoolgirl, by a speeding Sri Lankan army truck on Hospital Road in Jaffna.
There were widespread reports of killings, abductions, and other related violence by the armed opposition groups. Although the LTTE remained the overwhelmingly dominant armed opposition group and the signatory to the Cease-Fire Agreement, a large number of other Tamil armed groups like the People's Liberation Organization of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE), Eelam People's Democratic Front (EPDF), Eelam People's Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF) and the Karuna faction led by Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan were active. The internecine conflict between the LTTE and the other Tamil armed opposition groups continued unabated.
There were widespread reports of violations of human rights, including the right to life, by the security forces both from North Eastern and Southern part of Sri Lanka. The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) summoned the Inspector General of Police on 21 March 2005 to express its concern over a number of extra-judicial killings of suspects by members of the police force in Southern parts of the country.
The National Police Commission reportedly received a total of 2,419 complaints against the police in 2005. Of these, 761 complaints were reported from the Central Province, while 548 were reported from the Southern Province. Out of the 2,419 complaints, 274 complaints were related to torture, including beating, 130 complaints related to illegal arrests and detention, 192 for taking bribes, 721 were related to unethical behaviour, and 513 complaints for not acting properly. Investigations have been completed on 680 complaints and six police officials have been indicted, while disciplinary actions have been taken against 36 officials. Reports have been called from concerned departments on 2305 other cases, of which, reports were received by the National Police Commission in 1148 cases.
Disappearances have been endemic in Sri Lanka. The government established a series of Commissions - Presidential Commission of Inquiry into Involuntary Removal of Persons of 1991, Regional Commissions of Inquiry in 1995, a Board of Investigation of the Ministry of Defence of 1996, All Islands Commission of Inquiry in 2000 - to inquire into disappearances of about 27,200 persons. Accountability remained elusive for such widespread disappearances.
Cases of disappearances continued to be reported. On 8 August 2005, a complaint was lodged with teh Jaffna regional office of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka and Jaffna office of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) about the disappearance of Kaunakakai Sasikaran of Allarai Kodikamam in Thenmaradchchi division in Jaffna district after being allegedly taken into custody by the Sri Lankan army soldiers in Muhamalai checkpoint.
The lack of accountability contributed to continued enforced disappearances. In a rare case, in April 2005, a three-member bench of Sri Lanka's Supreme Court held the State responsible for the disappearance of M.Arumugam and M.Mahendrarajah after their arrest on 6 July 1990 by the Sri Lankan army personnel in Trincomalee and ordered to pay the petitioner, K.Machchavalavan, a sum of Rupees 300,000 as compensation.
Between February 2002 and November 2004, there were 900 reports of abductions, of which almost 400 have been certified by the Norwegian-led Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) as violations of the ceasefire agreement. Many of these cases of abductions resulted into disappearances.
In March 2005, the HRCSL expressed concerned over the reported killing from Negombo (02), Ragama (01), Peliyagoda (01), Welikada (02), Nawagamuwa (02), Mutwal (03), Kottawa (01), Athurugiriya (01), Nittambuwa (03) and Tangalle (01) police areas of Southern Sri Lanka.
Torture and custodial deaths were also reported throughout 2005. On 26 March 2005, Nallawarige Sandasirilal Fernando was brutally assaulted by Panadura police at his home at Welaeda in Panadura for protesting against the arrest of his brother Deepal Kumara Fernando. He was seriously injured in the head and taken to the National Hospital in Colombo on 28 March 2005 where he died a few hours after admission.
Many of the torture to death cases were confirmed by medical reports. The torture to death of Mr. Wijeratne Gunasinghe, a three-wheeler driver, was confirmed by a post mortem conducted on the deceased's body on 17 April 2005. He was taken into custody by some policemen from Maharagama police station in Colombo including a constable bearing ID No. 22728.
The post mortem of Helwala Langachcharige Susantha Kulatung, a resident of RajaMahavihara, Athgalawatte, Atakalampanna, Madampe, conducted on 27 April 2005 reportedly found more than 107 marks of injuries. Though police claimed the victim hanged himself, the post mortem report did not find any injury mark on the neck. The victim was reportedly taller than the height of the cell inside which, the police claimed, he had allegedly committed suicide. The deceased was arrested on 18 April 2005 by five officers from Rakwana Police Station.
The Judicial Medical Officer of Ragama Base Hospital, P. Parathidharam, after the post mortem inquiry, held that death of L.G. Nandiraja Gamage, a resident of Ambana Elpitiya, was caused by assault. On 30 May 2005, L.G. Nandiraja Gamage reportedly died after being tortured while under the custody of Pitigala police station. He was allegedly arrested by two police officers in uniform and four others in civvies for allegedly stealing goods from a furniture shop on 29 May 2005.
Similarly, in the custodial death of Hettiarachchige Abeysiri alias Ranjith in July 2005, Judicial Medical Officer's report confirmed that the death was caused due to internal hemorrhage due to injuries received from a blunt weapon. The two police officers, Sub Inspector K.L.A. Chaminda Kumara and police constable Anura Dharmapriya Weerawardena attached to crime unit of Peliyagoda police station were arrested in connection with his killing and produced before the court.
Victims were threatened for filing complaints. R. Navaratne Bandara of Panadura while testifying before the Panadura Magistrate on 1 April 2005 reportedly wished to withdraw the complaint against his torture at the Kehelwatte police station in August 2001 after receiving threats.
In early September 2005, the Attorney General K.C. Kamalasabayson filed direct indictment against six police personnel identified as former Officer-in–Charge (OIC) Biyagama Police Crime Branch Sub Inspector Siresh Gunasena, OIC Minor Complaints Branch Sub Inspector Asela Kumara Herath, Police constables Wijesena, Pradeep Kumara, Gayan Chandimal and Ajith Nishantha for murdering Gerard Mervyn Perera. Gerard Mervin Perera was taken into custody on suspicion in connection with a triple murder that had taken place four years ago at Hendala Alwis Town. He was allegedly assaulted by the police and treated in an inhuman manner. He had filed a fundamental rights case against seven police officers of Wattala Police Station and the Negombo High Court had ordered the accused police officials to pay him compensation of one million rupees. On 21 November 2004, an identified gunman shot at Gerard Mervyn Perera. He was scheduled to testify in a fundamental rights case against seven police officers of Wattala police station before the Negombo High Court on 2 December 2004. But trial was continuing at snail's pace.
The police also used fire-arms indiscriminately causing violations of the right to life. On 28 December 2005 around 5 pm, two youths identified as Yogarajah Gajendran from Kolumbuthurai in Ariyalai and Paranchothy Theepan from Kanduvil Veethy in Ariyalai who came in a motorbike were allegedly stopped and shot dead after beating one of them against a wall by the Sri Lanka army soldiers manning the checkpoint at Mutthirai Junction on Jaffna-Point Pedro Road near Nallur.
Many Tamils were killed in reprisals by the Sri Lankan Army personnel. On 23 December 2005, Ms Markandu Pushpamalar alias Malar was injured and later succumbed to her gunshot injuries at the Jaffna Teaching Hospital and K Rajathurai was seriously injured when the soldiers fired indiscriminately at civilians following a grenade attack at the SLA sentry camp near the Multipurpose Cooperative building in Chavakachcheri.
On 24 December 2005, five Tamils - Ms. Parameswari Somasundaram, Thirunavukarasu Jeyakanthan, a local businessman from Pallai, Ratnakumar Kunasegar, a carpenter from Kanakarayankulam, Krishnan Vimaleswaran, a night watcher and Palasingham Chandrakumar, a garage worker in Kottady were allegedly shot dead by the Sri Lankan army personel in Jaffna. The woman was a heart patient who had come to Jaffna Hospital for treatment from Konavil in Kilinochchi. The parents of the victims identified the bodies following the publication of photos in the local newspapers. The Sri Lankan military claimed that the five persons were gunmen and that troopers had recovered weapons from the them.
Rarely the security forces were taken to tasks for such indiscriminate use of fire-arms. In a rarest case, seven policemen were arrested following the orders of Tissamaharama Magistrate Court for the indiscriminate firing while raiding a gambling den on the eve of Sinhala new year's day in which six persons including a fourteen-year-old and a woman were injured by Tissamaharama police on 13 April 2005. In another incident, four policemen were arrested and remanded for killing Indika Priyantha Kumara de Silva of Akaralle and injuring two others seriously after they opened fire at a group of villagers involved in a gem rush at Opanayake on 21 July 2005.
Ethnic Tamils were specific targets of arbitrary arrest, detention and torture.
A large number of Tamils were arrested following the assassination of then Foreign Minister Laksman Kadirgamar. In a fundamental rights violation petition filed before the Supreme Court, Sivarasan Sivaranjan stated that he was illegally arrested and detained by Colombo Crimes Division in connection with the assassination of Mr Lakshman Kadirgamar. He further stated that there was no material to connect him to an offence either under the Prevention of Terrorism Act or Emergency Regulations and he was wrongfully detained with no reasonable ground or evidence to connect him to the assassination or to justify his arrest and detention.
On the evening of 13 October 2005, 48 Tamil rice mill workers were reportedly arrested during a cordon and search operation conducted by over 500 Sri Lankan police personnel following information of infiltration by alleged LTTE cadres into the Polannaruwa area.
The Sri Lankan army personnel and the Colombo Police reportedly arrested 920 Tamils, including 105 Tamil women in a joint cordon and search operation named “Strangers Night III” to hunt LTTE cadres. The operation was conducted in Tamil residential areas of Wellawatte, Bambalapitiya, Maradana, Kotahena, Grandpass and Mutuwal in Colombo between midnight of 30 December 2005 and the noon of 31 December 2005.
After an inquiry into the alleged torture of convict Mr. Thevamanoharan Jatheeswaran by prison guards of Jaffna prison, the Jaffna regional office of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka in August 2005 found three prison guards guilty and recommended legal action. In another incident, an inquiry by HRCSL in September 2005 found Police Sergeant E.M.P. Subasinghe (31545) of Elibiwichcha, Bopitiya Pannala guilty of twice torturing Channa Prasanka, resident of Pitipana South Negombo. The Commission had ordered the police officer to pay Rs. 25,000 to the victim and asked the Attorney General, Inspector General of Police and Chairman of the National Police Commission to take action against the officer for the criminal offences he had committed.
The Sri Lankan Navy personnel were also responsible for torture mainly of the Tamil fishermen. On 17 March 2005, a group of about fifteen fishermen from Mathakal, a coastal area in Jaffna district, were allegedly beaten up by personnel of the Sri Lankan Navy while fishing in sea. On the same day, officials of the HRCSL caught Navy personnel with fish forcibly seized from local fishermen near Crow Island in Jaffna.
On 2 September 2005, two fishermen Mr. Iruthayarajah Jesuthas and Mr. Arulprahasam Anton of Polykandi were admitted at Valvettithurai government hospital with injuries following torture by the Sri Lanka Navy personnel.
On the morning of 22 December 2005, seven Tamil fishermen, four of them identified as S. A. Calistus (15), S. Stanilaus (11), S. A. Roge (17) and Immanuel Arokianathan (18) from Pallimunai, and three others from Jaffna district were allegedly arrested, assaulted and detained at the Sunny village Naval Camp in Mannar by the Sri Lanka Navy while returning to the shore after night fishing. The medical officers of the General hospital who examined the two released detainees confirmed of having assault injuries.
Torture was rampant across Sri Lanka. In a fundamental rights violation petition before the Supreme Court, H.H. Prabath de Silva from Negombo alleged that he was subjected to brutal assault after his illegal arrest and detention at Wattala Police Station on 13 January 2005. The Judicial Medical Office had confirmed assault on de Silva.
Even the police personnel were not spared. On 3 February 2005, several police personnel reportedly beat up police constable C.K. Wanninayake of Kurunegala leaving him with a badly damaged eardrum at a police post in Andiyagala. After torture, the police personnel admitted him to the Horana government hospital with a warning not to complain about the incident.
When the victims approached the National Human Rights Institutions, they were subjected to torture. On the morning of 18 December 2005, the Sri Lanka army personnel attacked the drivers of auto-rickshaws at Irupalai junction located on Jaffna-Point Pedro road Irupalai of Jaffna town in retaliation against complaining to the SLMM.
Sri Lanka failed to extend invitation to the UN Special Rapporteur on Independence of Judges and Lawyers, thereby adding credence to the allegations about the lack of independence of judiciary in the country.
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka Justice Sarath N Silva continued to deliver judgements with nationalist fervour. On 12 August 2005, the Supreme Court stayed the operation of four crucial clauses of the Post-Tsunami Operational Management Structure (P-TOMS) agreement signed between the government and the LTTE for tsunami relief and rehabilitation operations in the north and east.
Justice continued to elude the ethnic Tamils. On 21 May 2005, the Supreme Court acquitted Sepala Dissanayake, M.A. Sammy, R.M. Premananda who are civilians and Senaka Jayampathy Karunaratne, former officer-in-charge of the Bindunuwewa Rehabilitation Centre who had been sentenced to death by the High Court for their role in the Bindunuwewa masacre. 28 Tamil youths were killed and 14 others were seriously injured in the custody of the Sri Lankan government at Bindunuwewa Rehabilitation Centre on 25 October 2000.
The trial into Mirusuvil massacre in which eight persons were murdered on 19 December 2000 continued at a snail's pace. In May 2005, the Colombo High Court Trial-at-Bar established a new three-member bench to inquire into the Mirusuvil massacre case.
Those residing outside of Colombo continued to face problems for filing cases on violations of fundamental rights. Under Section 126(1) of the Constitution, a petition against violations of fundamental rights could only be filed with the Supreme Court, which is based in Colombo. This restricted the access to justice to the poor, as many simply could not afford to hire a Supreme Court lawyer. Those who were living outside of Colombo could not regularly follow up the cases in the Supreme Court. Further, only the victim or an attorney-at-law on his/her behalf could file a complaint of human rights violation. This excluded the possibility to pursue justice for violations of fundamental rights on behalf of the dead and the missing. Section 126(2) also imposes a ban on filing a pettion against human rights violations after one month of the occurrence of such violations. Since most Tamils living in the LTTE held areas and High Security Zones did not enjoy the right to freedom of movement and were required to take “passes”, they could not effectively approach the Supreme Court against violation of their fundamental rights.
In May 2005, the Sri Lankan government also adopted draconian Code of Criminal Procedure (Special Provisions) Act and Criminal Procedure Code Amendment Act in the name of speedy justice. The Acts empowered the Police Officer not below the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police to detain persons for 48 hours, instead of existing 24 hours, in certain cases such as killings, rape and any offence committed with the use of explosives or offensive weapons without producing before the judge. The Acts also provided for the extension of the period of detention of persons arrested without producing before the court.
In these offences, a magistrate has been also empowered to hold a preliminary inquiry and forward the record of the proceedings to the Attorney General, who on receipt of the record of the proceedings can decide whether to file indictments in the High Court, thereby denying trials at the lower courts. The Acts also provided that statements made by a witness in the course of the investigations shall become part of the records of the inquiry after the Magistrate had verified the accuracy of such a statement and both the witness and the Magistrate had certified it.
Taking blood samples of suspects for DNA test without the consent of the accused has also been legalised.
Judicial delay continued to plague administration of justice in Sri Lanka. The hearing into the petition on fundamental rights violation application filed by Mr Sundara Aratchchige Laltih Rajapakse on 20 May 2002 before the Supreme Court has been delayed several times. On the other hand, the petitioner was subjected to constant pressure to withdraw his complaint and has been repeatedly called to testify alone at a police station.
Since its inception, the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) had been hamstrung by the failure to establish transparency in its work. The lack of powers to enforce its recommendations and inadequate financial resources remained serious impediment to its effectiveness and independence.
In its Annual Report 2003, the last one to have been made public, HRCSL stated, “owing to the heavy cuts imposed on the HRC budget in terms of the government's budgetary policy, HRC was severely constrained during this period in carrying out its routine duties such as visiting police stations and this often hampered the Commission in performing this deterrent role as efficiently as it would have.” The HRCSL received a total of 16,016 complaints out of which it concluded 8,304 cases, leaving a backlog of 7,712 cases.
In its Annual Report-2003, the HRCSL recommended that the Human Rights Commission Act of 1996 should be amended to make the recommendations of the Commission enforceable but no action was taken by the government.
Besides, the credibility of the HRCSL had also been questioned In April 2005, an inquiry officer of Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka allegedly harassed a torture victim Bernard Janapriya during investigation with his ‘hostile manner and of asking irrelevant questions'. Janapriya had filed a complaint with the HRCSL against a sergeant and two policemen for assaulting him on 10 February 2005.
Worst, no one could be arrested for the attack on the headquarters of HRCSL in Colombo on 12 October 2005. The HRCSL's office was ransacked, its files were destroyed and newspapers in the office were set on fire by pouring kerosene. The HRCSL stated that the motive of the perpetrators could be to frighten the commissioners & staff members of the HRCSL. But the government failed to bring the culprits to justice.
Human rights defenders did not face any major obstacles in 2005. However, on the night of 8 January 2005, Mr. Rajadurai Inthirarasa, a leading social worker based in Valvettithurai was reportedly criticially injured following assault by the Officer-in Charge of the Valvettithurai (VVT) Police. He was protesting against police harassment of inmates including women and children of the Tsunami Welfare Centre located at Chidambara College.
The press freedom and freedom of expression remained precarious across Sri Lanka. The journalists faced attacks from the security forces, political parties such as Sri Lanka Freedom Party, United National Party, Janata Vimukti Perumuna and the armed groups like the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. The ethnic Tamil journalists were the primary targets of both the security forces and the LTTE.
The Sri Lankan government failed to take necessary security measures to protect press freedom. The grenade attacks on Sun-Television station from India at Vairavarpuliyankumam in Vavuniya town in Colombo on 2 June 2005 and 12 September 2005 were a clear testimony.
In 2005, at least two journalists were killed. On the night of 28 April 2005, Mr. Dharmeratnam Sivaram alias Taraki, senior editor of TamilNet and Daily Mirror columnist was reportedly abducted and killed by unidentified gunmen near Bambalapitya Police Station in Colombo. A group calling itself “Therapuththabhaya Balakaya” reportedly claimed responsibility for the killing. On 29 June 2005, a Tamil newspaper distributor, K. Arasakumar was reportedly shot dead by an unidentified gunman in Samanthurai.
On 12 August 2005, news presenter of the Sri Lankan state television Rupaahini and the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation, Relangi Selvarajah and her husband Sinnadurai Selvarajah, a PLOTE activist, were reportedly gunned down by two unidentified gunmen suspected to be LTTE inside their house in Bambalapitiya. She was critical of the LTTE.
On 29 August 2005, the printing office of the Tamil daily Sudar Oli at Colombo was attacked with grenade killing its security guard Mr. David Selvaratnam.
A number of journalists also received death threats. On 10 May 2005, two journalists attached to Free Media Movement, Victor Ivan and Sunanda Deshaprita were allegedly threatened with death by an alleged Sinhalese armed opposition group calling itself as ‘Theraputtabhaya Force'. Vediwel Thevara, associate editor of Tamil daily Veerakesari, also reportedly received death threats.
Arbitrary arrest and detention of the media persons was common. On 19 August 2005, Tamil journalist Subramanium Ramesh was arrested under Emergency Regulations. On 17 December 2005 at around 11.30 pm, a senior Tamil journalist who is also a lawyer, P. Parthipan with two computer technicians Kokulan and Sarveswaran of Tamil newspaper Thinakkural were reportedly arbitrarily detained for over 12 hours by the Kirulapona police in Colombo.
Reporting from conflict areas invited ire of the security forces. On 4 March 2005, Mr. Vincent L. Jeyan, the Lake House journalist was reportedly assaulted and injured by the military for reporting the public unrest in Jaffna. On 15 December 2005, Sri Lanka army personnel cordoned off the offices of the popular Tamil daily Namathu Eelanaadu and searched its editorial, administrative and press section of the paper's office in Jaffna.
On 19 December 2005, the security forces beat up three journalists, Mr. T. Sabeswaran, and Wintson Jeyan of Thinakaran and Mr. J. Jerad of Namathu Eelanadu and smashed their cameras for covering a peaceful demonstration at Jaffna University.
Politically motivated attacks were carried out against the journalists and the media. In April 2005, provincial reporter of Lankadeepa, Hiran Priyankara Jayasinghe was arrested for taking photograph of a hotel coming up near the Tabbowawewa in Puttalam district, which was reportedly owned by United National Party (UNP) Member of Parliament Range Bandara. Jayasinghe was produced before the Court and released on bail but his camera was kept in police custody. On 6 May 2005, UNP activists assaulted Rupavahini Polonnaruwa correspondent, Upul Shantha Medagedara and smashed his camera while covering their protest rally at Thamankaduwa in Polonnaurwa.
The Janata Vimukti Perumuna (JVP) activists also threatened and attacked the journalists. Lasantha Wickramatunga, Editor of Colombo-based newspaper Sunday Leader sought police protection after he received threats from Wimal Weerawansa, a ruling party MP and leader of JVP on 5 May 2005. On 23 August 2005, a trainee photojournalist Yathurshan Premachandran of Sudar Oli newspaper was reportedly assaulted by a group of JVP activists while assisting his senior in covering the JVP demonstration in Fort Railway Station in Colombo. The police arrested him and handed over to the National Intelligence Bureau for further interrogation under the Emergency Regulations. However, police claimed that they took him into custody to rescue from the attacks of the JVP activists.
Indigenous Veddas continued to face discrimination including for not being able to speak Sinhalese. They have little access to homes and habitat.
On 28 March 2005, a member of the indigenous Veddah community, Uruvarige Kekula of Dambana, Mahiyangana complained to the Supreme Court of being harassed and detained along with seven others by Mahiyangana Police Officer-in-Charge Gayan Marapana and others for speaking his aboriginal language because he could not understand Sinhalese. He complained that the police repeatedly harassed him and warned that if the case did not end he would be continuously harassed. Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva appointed Justice Gamini Amaratunga and State Counsel Parinda Ranasinghe to inquire into the grievances of the Veddah community.
According to Police Women and Children Bureau, violence against women in Sri Lanka increased considerably. Major offences had risen from 2977 reported cases in 2002 to 4593 cases in 2004 while minor offences have risen from 1260 in 2002 to 1415 in 2005. A study by OXFAM showed that 60 per cent women suffer domestic violence including emotional, verbal and sexual abuse in close relationships. Between June and December 2005, 30 cases of molestation of children and women were reported to Police Women's Bureau in Dambulla district.
There were consistent reports of sexual violence against Tamil women by the security forces. In a complaint to the Mannar Citizens committee on 9 March 2005, a group of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees alleged that they were beaten, robbed and molested on a sandbank in the seas off Mannar on 5 March 2005 by five men suspected to be Sri Lanka Navy personnel. They also alleged that the sailors raped five refugee women including twenty-five-year old Ms. Rajitha Rajan. On 8 March 2005, Thalaimannar Police reportedly admitted Ms. Rajitha Rajan to Mannar Base Hospital for medical tests. According to the woman's husband, Mr. Mylvaganam Rajan, his wife was raped at gunpoint.
In another incident on 17 June 2005, four army soldiers including two corporals reportedly raped three women several times after tying the hands of three males on their backs at a quarry located at first milepost in Welikanda. The soldiers were arrested and produced before court.
The naked body of Ilayathambi Tharsini, a resident of Punguduthivu, who was reportedly abducted on 16 December 2005 allegedly by Sri Lankan Navy soldiers while she was on her way to her aunt's house was found in an abandoned well near the Sri Lankan Navy camp in Punguduthivu on 17 December 2005. According to the post mortem report conducted at Jaffna Teaching Hospital, she was brutally raped before being strangled to death. Several injuries caused by fingernails and biting had been found on several parts of her body. One of her breasts had been severely bitten.
The women migrant workers were also targeted. On 10 October 2005, 23-year-old woman, mother of one child, was reportedly raped by security officer, Mervin Nissanka Anthony inside a room at the Bandaranaike International Airport, Katunayake. The victim complained to the Wellawa police that she received death threat demanding to withdraw the case filed against the accused, who was arrested following an identification parade. However, the main accused Mervin Nissanka Anthony and four others - W. Indika Devapriya Fernando, Shaminda Dewapriya Fernando, J.M. Ramesha Dimuthukumara and U.D. Sunil Shantha, who were held guilty of aiding and abetting the crime were released on bail despite threat to victim's life.
In one rare case, the High Court of Anuradhapura on 23 August 2005 indicted three police officers i.e. Inspector Suraweera, Constables Wimalaretna and Cumaraswamy Rajah and nine soldiers of the Sri Lankan Navy with rape, torture and unlawful detention of two Tamil women, Sivamani Weerakone and Wijakala Nanthan, both residents of Uppukulam in Mannar town on 19 March 2001. Both women were allegedly stripped naked, assaulted, raped and tortured after their arrest on 19 March 2001 when they were being held in the Counter Subversive Unit cell in Mannar Police Station.
Many other women were also tortured. K.A. Ganga Kalpani of Galwanguwa, who was five months pregnant, was reportedly tortured along with her husband Walakadage Gamini Senadeera by the Embilipitiya police in April 2005. Kalpani was admitted to the Embilipitiya Hospital on 30 April 2005 where she gave birth to a stillborn baby as a result of torture.
On 23 December 2005 at around 5.30 pm, 28 persons including females were reportedly injured when the Sri Lankan Navy personnel entered the settlement of the IDPs of Victoria Hundred Scheme at Thullukudiyiruppu in Pesalai and attacked the civilians with batons, bike-chains and shoes after tying their hands and legs.
Sri Lanka was one the most dangerous place for children especially in the context of tsunami and the armed conflict.
Following the tsunami, the government banned adoption of the orphans to stop possible abuse. Many Sri Lankans were arrested for trying to sell children to foreigners. There were also reports of children being carried away in ships to foreign destinations. In second week of January 2005, police reportedly found seven tsunami children survivors between age group ranging from 6 to 12 years in a house in Karuveppankerni in Batticaloa. Police investigations revealed that the children had been in the custody at the house since 1 January 2005 in the aftermath of the tsunami disaster. The owner of the house was arrested for kidnapping these children.
On 11 January 2005, police reportedly arrested a man who was trying to sell two tsunami orphans, aged 13 and 14, at Rs. 50,000 each to a foreign employee official of the UNICEF who posed as a buyer in Balapitiya. The suspect was produced before the Balapitiya magistrate and remanded.
A special police unit of the National Child Protection Authority reportedly exposed an alleged child trafficking racket when they raided a hostel in Heiyantuduwa in February 2005. They reportedly found eight tsunami affected children kept by an individual who claimed that their guardians had handed over the children to him.
In 2003, the LTTE had agreed with both UNICEF and the Sri Lankan government to discharge all child fighters to rehabilitation centers, where they could receive care and counseling to help them rejoin society. But the recruitment of child soldiers did not stop. Since the signing of the Ceasefire Agreement in 2002, the recruitment of child soldiers became so intense that less than 50 percent children went to school as many parents kept children at home in fear of the LTTE and other armed groups taking them away on the way.
UNICEF recorded 5,368 cases of reported recruitment of child soldiers in Sri Lanka since January 2002 out of which about 44 per cent were girls. Though the LTTE released 1,115 children between 2002 till at the end of 2005, recruitment continued unabated.
On 23 August 2005, the LTTE released twenty-one youths including eleven girls of ages between 15-17 years to their parents 3 months after joining the LTTE. Three of the youths were handed over to the International Labour Organization funded Vocational Training Centre staff with the concurrence of their parents for skills training. All the eleven girls released were attending high school when they joined the LTTE and of the ten boys, only eight were attending school. On 13 October 2005, 26 underage youths who had allegedly volunteered to join the LTTE were released to their parents by the North East Secretariat on Human Rights at Karadippoku Junction in Kilinochchi.
The reports of recruitment of children were consistent.
On 25 February 2005, an LTTE cadre, Mahalingam Manivannan was arrested for allegedly abducting a girl from Kokkuvil, Ponpadi LTTE office in Jaffna. The girl was to be handed over to her parents after necessary investigation.
On 20 July 2005, N. Yuddan (14) and P. Ajanthan (16), both schoolboys and residents of Unnarkula Road in Chenkalady, were reportedly kidnapped by alleged LTTE members from their paddy field. In July 2005, another three teenage boys identified as T.Madan (13) and T.Judan (15) of Market Road and M.Baskaran (15) from the Andankulam area of Chenkalady were allegedly abducted by the LTTE and their parents and relatives were threatened not to report the abductions.
On 1 August 2005, three teenage girls identified as M.Renu Fareena (17), Valeuttu Erakkandy and P. Nilani (17) were abducted at Erakka in Kuchchaveli when they were on their way to a church. On the same day, alleged LTTE cadres abducted Felix M. Christian (15), a schoolboy of Murunkan and Christopher Vanaraj (14) of Kaluwankerni in Eravur.
On 26 December 2005, alleged LTTE cadres picked up three tsunami-displaced girls aged between 11 and 15 years from refugee camps in Batticaloa and Ampara. The two girls from Ampara were released but the other girl remained with the LTTE.
Very few of those abducted children managed to flee. In first week of August 2005, a ten-year-old child Krishnan Balachandran who was reportedly kidnapped by the LTTE cadres escaped from the Navakkudi camp of the LTTE and reportedly surrendered to the Batticaloa police. Krishnan Balachandran reported that there were several other boys who had been kidnapped and were being held at the LTTE camp.
The December 2004 tsunami further aggravated internal displacement in Sri Lanka.
According to the UNHCR, more than 400,000 people displaced by the conflict have returned home since the Ceasefire Agreement in 2002, while 325,000 still remain displaced in the two decade long civil war in the North East. Land mines and unexploded ordnance continued to pose problems for the returning and resettling IDPs in the northeast. According to the UNDP, about 75,180 mines were cleared at the end of 2005 and that it had recorded 1,269 civilian mine casualties from 1995 to July 2005 of which 188 were killed and 1,081 were injured. The actual number could be much higher.
The continued violations of the ceasefire agreement, the failure to resolve property disputes and slow reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts in areas of origin made the return process to a near standstill.
The camp conditions, especially in the High Security Zones were deplorable. Most of the displaced persons were subsistence farmers, fishermen, agricultural labourers or unskilled workers who needed strong support from the government and aid agencies to restart their lives. But the government failed to take any measure. The displaced families of the Vadamaradchchi east division were still facing problems as their houses and lands were occupied by the government troops in the High Security Zones.
In Valigamam district, displaced persons were getting only Rs. 1140 per month as relief assistance as per the 1990 estimate on living standards. The amount was not increased at the end of 2005. On the other hand, the government officials reportedly announced to include the displaced families in the Samurdhi scheme under which the allowance would be reduced to Rs. 750 per month.
These IDPs were still the most fortunate lot. There were thousands of IDPs who have lost their valid documents to prove ownership of their lands and houses to claim financial assistance and compensation from World Bank funded North East Housing Reconstruction Programme (NEHRP) and other state agencies. The NEHRP through District Task Force structure identified about 60,000 landownership problems confronting the war and tsunami affected families. There were also reports of discontinuation of dry rations to the displaced people of the Islets in the Jaffna district.
The tsunami further exacerbated the problem of shelter which has been one of the biggest problems for the returnees. According to Global IDP project estimate, as of mid-2005, 450,000 tsunami affected people remained displaced.
The reconstruction work was slow and the Tamils and Muslim minorities were not provided relief materials and rehabilitation assistance at par with the Sinhalese in the South. In Trincomalee, the survivors were made to stay in tents which emit unbearable amount of heat, thus affecting their health.
International Organisation for Migration (IOM) facilitated the return of over 2,800 Tamil refugees from India including 27 refugees who returned on 27 July 2005 and 38 refugees who returned on 19 December 2005.
Many refugees returned without any official negotiation and were subjected to harassment. On 20 June 2005, Sri Lanka Navy reportedly arrested twenty-five Tamil refugees including 13 women returning from Tamil Nadu of India. Civil authorities claimed that the returnee refugees were immediately sent to their native villages in Trincomalee and Vavuniya districts. However, eleven Sri Lankan Tamil refugees returning from India on the night of 11 November 2005 were reportedly arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy at Pesalai and handed over to Mannar Police for further investigations.
Prison conditions in Sri Lanka were deplorable with the absence of basic facilities. By August 2005, there were 22,904 convicted prisoners and 60,484 under-trials. Some prisons were overcrowded as much as by 400%. The Wilekada Prison housed over 4,000 prisoners against sanctioned capacity of 1750.
Article 11 of the Constitution of Sri Lanka allows inspection of prisons and detention centres by different bodies including HRCSL. However, very few inspections were carried out and the findings of inspections were not made public.
Although prisoner's welfare and rehabilitation programmes were initiated as far back as 1953, little or no progress has been achieved over the years. Among the prisoners, 71% were serving sentences of over 6 months, 45% were serving terms between 3 months and one year, and 65% were serving jail terms for inability to pay fines imposed by the courts for various offences while 37% were held for drug related offences. On 4 February 2005, 1,800 prisoners were freed on a Presidential Pardon.
In early hours of 6 May 2005, three remand prisoners were reportedly injured after a wall at the Welikada Prison collapsed due to heavy rains. Due to the overwhelming increase in prisoner population, a number of prisoners in Welikada prison were reportedly becoming mentally unstable. According to a report, seventy-nine prisoners of Welikada prison needed treatment for mental sicknesses. The requests made by prison authorities to the Health Ministry to provide a psychiatrist to the prison had fallen on deaf ears. Most of the prisoners were serving extended prison terms due to their inability to pay fines.
On 28 May 2005, a remand prisoner Sumanasiri, resident of Ratgama, under detention in Galle prison reportedly died while undergoing treatment at Galle Karapitiya hospital. Ratgama police arrested him for gambling and was fined Rs.1, 500 by court. He was imprisoned for two years for failing to pay the fine.
There was serious lack of security with prisoners being killed inside prison cells and inside prison vans while being taken to courts. Weapons could allegedly be smuggled inside prisons and officials having close connections with underworld don cannot be ignored. On 1 September 2005, prisoner Mohamed Riswan was reportedly gunned down by a fellow prisoner Aravinda Dhanushka in the prison bus while being brought from Magazine prison to appear in Aluthkde Courts. The deceased was the main suspect in killing the High Court judge Sarath Ambepitiya.
On 26 September 2005, three prison guards identified as Overseer Wimalatunga Perera, guards Y. Amarasinghe and J. Niroshan and one prisoner, Ambegoda were allegedly killed by suspected underworld gang in an attack on the prison vehicle carrying them to the Negombo Courts at Udugampola.
According to a study, in the absence of adequate number of rehabilitation centers, about 60% of the one time juvenile offenders were returning to prisons for committing the same offence on their release. Out of the eight rehabilitation centers functioning earlier, only four were functioning in 2005.
The root causes of the civil war in Sri Lanka, especially, in Northern and Eastern parts are the discrimination against the Tamil minorities. Other minorities too faced attacks from the majority Sinhalese.
There were reports of Buddha statues being suddenly erected in tsunami-affected areas in the Muslim majority areas in the East. According to Sri Lanka Muslim Congress leader, Rauff Hakeem, a Buddha statue was constructed in Ullei, Pottuvil in January 2005 allegedly by some political elements who wanted to incite communal violence.
In the last week of March 2005, the Principal of Lindsay Girls School in Colombo reportedly banned Muslim students from wearing the traditional head scarf known as the ‘hijab' in school and directed the Muslim students to adorn themselves as same as Sinhalese students with immediate effect contrary to the circular number No: 1995/37 of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education which permitted all Muslim students to wear the head scarf and the trouser, according to the Islamic religious norms.
On the morning of 18 November 2005 at around 5.45 pm, four Muslims - Mr. Ibraheem, Mr. Abubaker, Mr. M.I.M Mustafa and Mr. Noordeen were killed and at least eighteen others were wounded when unidentified assailants hurled two grenades at the Akkaraipattu Jummah Mosque located on Akkaraipattu-Amparai Road.
There were reports of serious violations of international humanitarian laws such as killing, torture, kidnapping and hostage taking by the armed opposition groups such as the LTTE, People's Liberation Organization of Tamil Eelam, Eelam People's Democratic Front and Eelam People's Revolutionary Liberation Front and the Karuna faction.
All the armed opposition groups were responsible for killing, though the LTTE remained the overwhelmingly dominant group responsible for maximum number of violations of international humanitarian laws.
The LTTE cadres were responsible for the killings of the cadres of PLOTE, EPDF, EPRLF and Karuna faction.
On 8 March 2005 at around 5.10 am, a PLOTE cadre identified as Alakaiah Kirubeswaran was allegedly shot dead by suspected LTTE gunmen while waiting a bus to go to Colombo in front of the Police headquarters in Batticaloa town.
Those who were associated with EPDF leader Douglas Devananda were specifically targeted by the LTTE. On 4 April 2005, Vocational Training Director Thiyagarajah Kailanadan was allegedly shot dead at point blank range by suspected LTTE members at Kathankudi in Batticaloa for allegedly working under EPDF leader Douglas Devananda. Mr. Rajadurai, principal of Jaffna Central College, was reportedly shot dead in front of his students by four unidentified gunmen alleged to be cadres of the LTTE when he was attending a religious function at the Weerasingham hall in Jaffna in October 2005. He had reportedly received death threats from the LTTE, warning him not to carry out development work at the school using the funds received from Mr. Douglas Devananda who had been a student of the college.
On the night of 11 October 2005, another school principal Mr. Nadaraja Sivakdacham of Kopay Christian College was allegedly shot dead in front of his family members by suspected LTTE cadres at his residence at Kopay in Jaffna district.
Those who were suspected for spying for the army were also specifically targeted by the LTTE. These included S. Pathmanathan, who was abducted from his home and shot dead by unidentified gunmen in the outskirts of the village Maavilangaimunai of Aaraiyampathy in Batticaloa on 6 March 2005; P. Jegatheesvaran, who was killed on 24 January 2005 at 33rd Lane opposite the Wellawatte police station, Colombo; Rasaratnam Sri Kanth, a PLOTE member who was shot dead at point blank at his residence located on 3rd lane at Kovilkulam in Vavuniya; and Selvadurai Yoganadan, who was shot dead while returning home after visiting his sick father at Pattakadu in Vavuniya on 19 September 2005.
On the morning of 14 September 2005, former leader of Razeek group Sivaguru Navaratnarajah alias Gandhi was killed in a grenade attack by a suspected LTTE cadre at an army camp at Lake Road in Baticaloa.
Many were targeted for not heeding to demands of extortion. On 26 November 2005, a businessman identified as Ganeshalingam Thyagarajah was allegedly shot dead by a LTTE cadre riding a motorcycle at Vakarai in Batticaloa. He was under death threat allegedly from the LTTE for not paying extortion money.
On 25 December 2005, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliamentarian from Batticaloa District, Joseph Pararajasingham was shot dead inside the St. Mary's co-cathedral church in Batticaloa during Midnight Mass on Christmas Day. His wife Sugunam Pararajasingham and seven other civilians were injured in the attack. A clandestine armed opposition group “Sennan Brigade” reportedly claimed the responsibility for the assassination.
The LTTE and its sympathizers too suffered number of casualties at the hands of mainly the Karuna group. On 7 February 2005, LTTE's Batticaloa-Amparai district political leader, E. Kaushalyan and four others were reportedly killed in an ambush carried out by Karuna Group in Government-controlled Punani area in the Batticaloa District. TNA MP Ariyanayagam Chandra Nehru who was also injured in the ambush succumbed to his injuries on the next day. The Karuna group reportedly claimed responsibility of the killing.
On 29 August 2005, six LTTE cadres were killed and seven injured in an ambush by alleged the cadres of Karuna group in the uncleared area of Panichchakerni in Vakarai in Batticaloa district. Their bodies were reportedly displayed at Tamil Maha Vidyalaya in the government-controlled area of Vakarai.
The Karuna group also specifically targeted the relatives of those cadres of its group, who surrendered to the LTTE. On the night of 7 December 2005, Mrs Yogarasa Yogeswary and Mrs Thurairasa Vathany were reportedly shot dead by suspected Karuna group at Palacholai in Batticaloa. The victims were identified as the two sisters of Puhalventhan who surrendered to the LTTE on 8 December 2005. On 30 December 2005, 10 LTTE Wanni cadres were reportedly killed and twelve others were injured in an attacked carried out by cadres of Karuna faction at Nilapanichchikulam in Trincomalee.
A large number of cases of kidnapping were also reported. Hundreds of kidnapping cases were recorded by the SLMM.
In a complaint to the SLMM, the relatives of Vaithiyalingam Jeganathan alleged that on 20 January 2005 at around 2.30 pm, Jeganathan, a member of the EPDF, was allegedly abducted by LTTE cadres while he was returning home from an EPDF camp in Vavuniya town.
Other victims of kidnapping include H.S.N. Prema Jayanta and D.R. Dissanayake who were allegedly abducted by armed LTTE cadres from Ampara on 30 July 2005 and a peasant identified as Ranjith Jayasiri who was kidnapped from Mahaweligama in Serunuwara in October 2005.
Very few managed to escape from the LTTE custody. On 12 April 2005, Kalin Riyaz resident of Veppankulam reportedly escaped from LTTE captivity and reached Vavuniya Police Station. He was reportedly kept in an iron cage with his hands bound with an iron chain during his two and a half months confinement in the jungles of Mullaithivu. His father was an active member of the PLOTE in Vavuniya.
The Karuna group was also responsible for kidnapping. On the night of 5 November 2005, three youths identified as Mr. Uthayan Selvarajah, Mr. Subramaniam Kanapathipillai and Mr. S. Leethan were allegedly kidnapped by alleged cadres of the Karuna group from Kaluwankerny in Eravur.
Many civilians became targets for not following the dictat of the armed opposition groups. In the wee hours of 2 January 2005, LTTE cadres reportedly set ablaze the welfare center at the Kudatane government school at Nagarkovil in Jaffna which housed over 60 tsunami affected Tamil families for disregarding their directives of not to obtain relief assistance from the Sri Lankan army.
On 13 July 2005, nine civilians including a four-year-old girl were reportedly hurt in an LTTE attack on a tsunami refugee camp in Periyapalayam where Muslims were housed. The camp provided shelter to 250 Muslim refugees. The injured soldiers and the children were admitted to Trincomalee hospital.
Many civilians were also killed in the cross-fire between the LTTE and other armed groups. On 5 March 2005, six civilians identified as Arachecal Selvarajah, Asoka Wijesooriya, Segu Lebbe Abdul Jabbar, Mohamadu Hanifa, Mohamudu Lebbe and Asinam Lebbe, all residents of Konakulaweli, were reportedly shot dead during clashes between the LTTE and the Karuna group at Kolakanawadiya in Welikanda. Three others Ashok Wijeyratne, Abdul Jabbar, Mohammed Hasan, and M. Jeyama were injured and rushed to the Polonnaruwa hospital.
On 5 March 2005 at around 8.45 pm, four Muslims, a Sinhalese and a LTTE supporter were allegedly shot dead by gunmen suspected to be cadres of Karuna group on the Polannaruwa- Batticaloa highway near Kolakunaweli Police post in Welikanda. The Karuna group allegedly attacked these Muslims and Sinhalese for providing information to the LTTE about the Welikanda area.
. Emergency Regulations approved, The Daily News, 19 August 2005
. One killed and another wounded as Sri Lanka troops fire on Jaffna protestors,
Tamil Net, March 04, 2005
. HRC determines to work with police, The Daily News, 25 March 2005
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Human Rights Watch, May 2005, available at http://hrw.org/english/docs/2005/05/24/slanka10996_txt.htm
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. A father of three young children Police assault kills mason - AHRC,
The Island, 17 April 2005
. Police accused of killing again, The BBC Sinhala.com, 17 April 2005 http://www.bbc.co.uk/sinhala/news/story/2005/04/050417_police_killing.shtml
. Man dies under police torture, family threatened - AHRC, TamilNet, May 17, 2005
. Death of suspect in police custody, Veliveriya OIC ordered to produce report on July 4, The Island, 28 June 2005
. Police torture leads to death of 53-year-old man - AHRC,
The Island, 12 June 2005
. Death due to blows while in police custody, suspects SP,
The Daily Mirror, 23 July 2005
. Frightened victim of alleged police assault refuses to give evidence,
The Daily Mirror, 06 April 2005
. Police officers face trial, The Daily Mirror, 07 September 2005
. Police officers face trial, The Daily Mirror, 07 September 2005
. Breakthrough in Gerard Perera case, The Daily News,
. Two youths shot and killed in Jaffna, TamilNet, 28 December 2005
. Chavakachcheri woman succumbs to gunshot wounds,
TamilNet, 24 December 2005
. SLA attacks on Jaffna civilians increase, NGO closes office,
TamilNet, 23 December 2005
. All five Jaffna victims identified as civilians, TamilNet, 27 December 2005
. Seven cops remanded over shooting incident, The Island, 19 April 2005
. Police open fire on thousands to stop rush for gems; one killed,
The Daily Mirror, 22 July 2005
. Kadirgamar killing detainee files FR case, The Daily Mirror, 25 November 2005
. SL police arrest 48 Tamil workers in Polannaruwa, TamilNet, October 14, 2005
. 920 Tamils arrested in major cordon, search operation in Colombo,
TamilNet, 31 December 2005
. Jaffna HR officials recommend legal action on torture complaint,
TamilNet, 12 August 2005
. Rights Commission rules sergeant tortured victim,
The Daily Mirror, 02 September 2005
. Mathakal fishermen protest against navy assault, TamilNet, March 17, 2005
. Jaffna SLN misdemeanors laid bare, TamilNet, March 18, 2005
. SLN soldiers assault Polikandi fishermen, Tamil Net, September 02, 2005
. SLN arrests, assaults 7 Mannar fishermen, TamilNet, 22 December 2005
. Mannar Police releases four fishermen, detains three, TamilNet, 23 December 2005
. Petitioner wants SC to declare rights violated by cops, The Island, 11 February 2005
. Asian Human Rights body expresses dismay over case against Police Constable,
The Daily Mirror, 08 April 2005
. Inspector allegedly assaults disabled policeman, The Daily Mirror, 03 March 2005
. SLA attacks Irupalai auto-rickshaw drivers, TamilNet, 18 December 2005
. P-TOMS case put off till Nov. 21, The Daily Mirror, 13 September 2005
. New HC bench to hear Mirusuvil massacre case, TamilNet, 14 May 2005
. Torture: Lawless Law Enforcement in Sri Lanka,
Asian Centre for Human Rights, November 2005
. Tough new bill to kill crime, The Sunday Times, 13 March 2005
. "Laws' delays multiply agony of child victims", The Island, 17 April 2005
. Human Rights Committee - Lalith Rajapakse v Sri Lanka,
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. UA-63-2005: Need for inquiry into police and inquiring
officers conduct in investigating a torture victim's complaint,
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Commission of Sri Lanka, 13 October 2005, available at http://www.hrcsl.org/publications/pressreleases/2005/october/break%20in.php
. VVT civil leader assaulted by Police, TamilNet, January 09, 2005
. Grenade explodes at Indian-owned TV station in northern Sri Lanka,
The Lanka Academic, 2 June 2005
. Sun TV station attacked again, The Island, 14 September 2005
. Top journalist brutally killed, The Daily Mirror, 30 April 2005
. Mysterious group claims it killed Siva, grim warning to others,
The Daily Mirror, 13 May 2005
. Newspaper distributor in Samanthurai shot dead,
The Daily Mirror, 30 June 2005
. TV presenter, husband killed by Tigers, The Island, 13 August 2005
. Top Tamil broadcaster, husband shot dead in Colombo,
The Daily Mirror, 13 August 2005
. LTTE prime suspect in Selvarajah killings, The Sunday Times, 14 August 2005
. Colombo Tamil daily bombed, one dead, three injured, Tamil Net, August 29, 2005
. Lanka reporters get death threats, The Asian Age, 14 May 2005
. Fears for safety of Veerakesari associate editor, TamilNet, 24 May 2005
. Police refuse information on journalist arrested under ER - FMM,
TamilNet, 22 August 2005
. FMM condemns unwarranted detention of Tamil journalist and colleagues,
The Daily Mirror, 20 December 2005
. Troops assault journalist, scores injured in Jaffna clashes,
TamilNet, March 04, 2005
. SLA soldiers search Jaffna press, threaten workers, TamilNet, 15 December 2005
. FMM condemns SLA attack on Jaffna journalists, TamilNet, 19 December 2005
. Free Media Movement condemns provincial reporter being taken
to police custody, The Daily News, 18 April 2005
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. Editor seeks protection after JVP threats, TamilNet, 06 May 2005
. Tamil journalist in Colombo assaulted by JVP, arrested under ER,
TamilNet, August 23, 2005
. Colombo court releases Tamil journalist, Tamil Net, August 24, 2005
. Justice Dambana bound to settle Veddah grievances,
The Daily Mirror, 30 March 2005
. Veddah before SC in conventional veddah attire, The Island, 30 March 2005
. Sixteen-day campaign to call for action to end violence against women,
The Daily Mirror, 25 November 2005
. Molestation of children and women on the increase,
The Island, 28 December 2005
. Refugees allege were raped, robbed by Sri Lanka Navy men,
TamilNet, March 09, 2005
. Soldiers face rape charges, The Daily Mirror, 23 June 2005
. Tharsini raped before murder- Medical Report, TamilNet, 20 December 2005
. BIA rape victim asks IGP to hold impartial inquiry, The Island, 17 November 2005
. Death threats on housemaid raped in BIA, The Island, 18 November 2005
. Rape suspects released on bail, The Daily Mirror, 01 December 2005
. Mannar CSU rape case to be heard in Anuradhapura HC, Tamil Net,
23 August 2005
. Probe torture of husband-wife by Embilipitiya police - AHRC,
The Island, 08 May 2005
. 28 wounded, 13 hospitalized in SLN revenge attack on IDPs,
TamilNet, 23 December 2005
. Child trafficking after the deluge, The Deccan Herald, 20 January 2005
. Police look for child traffickers, The Sunday Times, 23 January 2005
. Child trafficking after the deluge, The Deccan Herald, 20 January 2005
. Seven abducted tsunami children survivors rescued, Tamil Net, 11 January 2005
. UNICEF decoy helps nab tsunami vulture, The Daily Mirror, 12 January 2005
. Alleged child trafficking racket bared, The Daily Mirror, 03 February 2005
. Tamil Tiger rebels have recruited 137 children since the December
tsunami; nine from relief camps, UNICEF says, The Lanka Academic, 20 May 2005
. Child conscription : Canada frowns on LTTE, The Daily News, 27 March 2005
. LTTE releases 21 underage youths to parents, Tamil Net, August 24, 2005
. NESOHR releases 26 underage youths, TamilNet, October 13, 2005
. Jaffna Peninsula: UN resolutions ignored and LTTE child conscription
continues, The Daily News, 1 March 2005
. LTTE child abductions continue, The Lanka Academic, 21 July 2005
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. Workshop helps landowners without legal papers, Tamil Net, April 02, 2005
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. Trinco tsunami victims protest, demand proper shelters, TamilNet, March 14, 2005
. IOM helps Sri Lankan refugees return from India, The Daily News, 28 July 2005
. 38 Lankan refugees return from India, The Daily Mirror, 20 December 2005
. Navy arrests 25 Tamil refugees in Mannar Sea, TamilNet, June 23, 2005
. Navy arrests 11 returnees, The Island, 14 November 2005
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. Prison reforms in the offing, The Island, 31 May 2005
. Massive Rehabilitation program for prisoners in the offing,
The Daily News, 2 June 2005
. 1,800 prisoners freed, The Daily News, 5 February 2005
. Prison wall collapses injuring three, The Island, 07 May 2005
. Increase in mental illnesses among prisoners, The Daily Mirror, 04 August 2005
. Remand prisoner dies in Karapitiya hospital, The Daily Mirror, 30 May 2005
. No prison guard in Black Maria at time or shooting, The Island, 06 September 2005
. Welikada shooting: Prison officers had smuggled the gun? The Daily Mirror, 04 July 2005
. Underworld leader gunned down inside prison bus, The Island, 02 September 2005
. Black Maria attacked, 4 killed, The Island, 27 September 2005
. 60% of prisoners are minors: Research, The Daily Mirror, 22 November 2005
. Muslim leader warns of communal violence if Government does not stop building Buddha
Statues, The Lanka Academic, 27 March 2005
. Muslim 'Head Scarf' banned at a leading Girls School in Colombo, The Lanka Academic, 30 March 2005
. Six Muslim worshippers killed in grenade attack on Mosque in Akkaraipattu, TamilNet, November 18, 2005
. Killing spree continues as two more shot dead in East,
The Daily News, 9 March 2005
. Killings escalate in Batticaloa, TamilNet, 08 March 2005
. Devananda's ministry director shot dead, The Daily Mirror, 05 April 2005
. Jaffna Central College Principal shot dead by LTTE, The Academic, 12 October 2005
. Military informant killed in Batticaloa, TamilNet, March 07, 2005
. LTTE gunman strikes in Wellawatte, The Island, 26 January 2005
. LTTE guns down army informant, The Island, 26 August 2005
. Ex-army informant shot dead, The Daily Mirror, 20 September 2005
. Razeek group leader Navaratnarajah alias Gandhi killed, The Daily Mirror,
15 September 2005
. Businessman shot dead in Batticaloa, The Daily Mirror, 28 November 2005
. Pararajasingham gunned down on Christmas Day, The Daily Mirror,
26 December 2005
. Anti-LTTE 'Sennan Brigade' claims it killed MP, others warned,
The Daily Mirror, 27 December 2005
. Kaushalyan shot dead, The Daily Mirror, 08 February 2005
Highest ranking LTTEer to be killed after the ceasefire
. Tamil National Force claims responsibility for the killings of Kouslayan and others,
The Asian Tribune, 10 February 2005
. Karuna cadres kill and display six Wanni Tigers, The Island, 31 August 2005
. Revenge killing by suspected paramilitaries, TamilNet, 08 December 2005
. Karuna faction kills 10 Wanni Tigers, The Island, 31 December 2005
. EPDPer allegedly abducted by LTTE, The Daily News, 25 January 2005
. Protestors storm into SLMM office, The Academic, 9 August 2005
. Tigers prey on Serunuwara peasants, The Island, 24 November 2005
. Man abducted by LTTE escapes, The Daily News, 14 April 2005
. Paramilitary cadres abduct 3 youths in Batticaloa,
TamilNet, November 06, 2005
. Welfare centre housing tsunami victims set on fire allegedly by LTTE,
The Daily News, 3 January 2005
. Muslims in thousands protest against attack on Muslim tsunami relief camp, The Academic, 20 July 2005
. LTTE Attacks Muslim Tsunami Relief Camp In Muttur,
The Lanka Academic, 14 July 2005
. Violence escalates in East, Wanni cadres, Karuna faction battle for supremacy,
The Daily Mirror, 07 March 2005
. Six civilians shot dead, The daily News, 7 March 2005
. Karuna Group kills six civilians, TamilNet, March 06, 2005