South Asians for Human Rights

Promoting Democracy, Upholding Human Rights

From 2005 onwards, the month of November had been an important month in the Sri Lankan political calendar. President Mahinda Rajapaksa was sworn in as President for the first time on November 18, 2005, incidentally his birthday November 18, 2010 marked the beginning of President Rajapaksa’s second term in office. Four days prior, on November 14, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) Member of Parliament (MP) Sunil Handunnetti and three others were assaulted in Jaffna when they visited the northern township to organize a protest demanding the release of a list of Tamil youth detained at the military-run detention camps.

On the same day, during the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) sessions held in Jaffna, Journalist P. Winslow of Yaal Thinakkural was threatened with death, allegedly by members of the Eelam Peoples’ Democratic Party (EPDP). These incidents occurred in areas where there is a strong military presence that lead to many questions about ‘freedom’ and ‘rights’ in the North.

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