South Asia
Sri Lanka disappeared

Sri Lanka regime intransigent on war crimes

Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa announced that his government will withdraw from co-sponsorship of a 2015 UN Human Rights Council resolution calling for an investigation into war crimes committed on the island during the internal conflict with Tamil rebels. UNHRC Resolution 30/1 was actually a compromise measure, after the Sri Lanka government rejected calls for creation an international tribunal. The move comes weeks after the government acknowledged for the first time that more than 20,000 people who disappeared during the civil war are dead.¬†Security forces and intelligence agencies have meanwhile intensified surveillance and threats against families of victims of enforced disappearance and activists supporting them.¬†(Photo: UK Tamil News)

South Asia

Sri Lanka dissidents reject Buddhist fascism

As Sri Lanka marks the 10-year anniversary of the end of its long internal war, a new wave of communal violence has erupted following the Easter Sunday  terror attacks. In days of anti-Muslim riots, mobs have ransacked mosques and attacked shops with petrol bombs. The Buddhist militant group Bodu Bala Sena, which has been repeatedly linked to such pogroms since its founding in 2012, is named as having instigated much of the violence. But just as many Sri Lankan Muslims have held peace vigils to repudiate the Easter attacks and declare their solidarity with Christians, some Sinhalese Buddhists have repudiated the pogroms and declared their solidarity with Muslims. (Photo via SriLankaTweet)

South Asia

Muslim leaders had warned of Sri Lanka terror

ISIS claimed responsibility for the Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka that left over 300 dead, and released a video purporting to show the militants behind the attacks pledging allegiance to the terror network’s leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. But Sri Lankan authorities had named a little-known militant group called National Thowheeth Jama’ath as behind the attacks. Leaders of the¬†Muslim Council of Sri Lanka¬†said they had warned military intelligence officials about National Thowheeth Jama’ath three years ago, saying the group was planning attacks on non-Muslims.¬†(Photo: Sahad Shady via Twitter)

South Asia

China expands Indian Ocean military footprint

In addition to stationing troops on the disputed islands it claims in the South China Sea, Beijing is rapidly expanding its network of commercial ports across the Indian Ocean. This comes as China is sending warships into the Ocean with growing frequency, leading to fears that the commercial ports could presage military bases, The latest addition is the port of Hambantota in Sri Lanka, acquired in a debt swap deal—the Colombo government was forgiven $1 billion in debt to Beijing in exchange for the Hambantota facility. China has also gained access to facilities in Burma, Bangladesh, Pakistan, the Maldives, Seychelles and Oman as part of the maritime component of its Silk Road trade and infrastructure initiative. While the Silk Road is an ostensibly civilian project, China has also established its first foreign military base at Djibouti, leading Western wonks to warn that Beijing is seeking a "string of pearls" network of bases across the Indian Ocean.  (Map via CIMSEC)

South Asia

Sri Lanka rejects UN call for war crimes probe

Sri Lanka's government rejected a call for UN involvement in its investigation into alleged war crimes during the country's civil war—but Tamils have little faith in the government.

South Asia

Sri Lanka: fear in wake of anti-Muslim riots

Police declared a curfew in Sri Lanka's coastal town of Aluthgama after simmering tensions between Buddhist militants and local Muslims escalated into deadly clashes.

South Asia

Sri Lanka opposition demand war crimes probe

The main opposition party in Sri Lanka is demanding the government conduct an investigation into alleged crimes carried out in the long war against the Tamil Tigers.

South Asia

Buddhist pogroms in Burma, Sri Lanka

The campaign of ethnic cleansing against Muslims in Burma has spread from the coast to the country’s heartland, with similar attacks now mounting in Sri Lanka.

South Asia

Sri Lanka: mass grave recalls bloody past

Sri Lanka’s left opposition is demanding investigation of a mass grave found in the central town Matale, asserting that the human remains date to a wave of bloody repression.