Sri Lanka. In January, the government announced that it
was suspending the ceasefire from 2002, which has in
practice failed long ago. Hard fighting broke out
immediately in the northern part of the country between the
army and the Tamil guerrilla LTTE. The guerrillas, in their
home districts, increasingly responded with a series of
terrorist attacks in other parts of the country. According
Countryaah reports, two
ministers were killed in the blast. A large number of
civilians were killed during the year in a series of attacks
against buses. the railway station in Colombo. Several of
the deaths were carried out by suicide bombers.
In the land battles in the north, the army, under heavy
losses on both sides, moved further into Tamil soil and
captured several strategically important places, as well as
one of the guerrilla's large training camps.
Tens of thousands of civilian Tamils fled the fighting
and aid organizations found it difficult to reach supplies.
In September, the UN removed its civilian personnel from
The war led to an increasingly tougher social climate,
and in May Sri Lanka was forced to leave its seat on the UN
Human Rights Council after criticism for lack of respect for
human rights. International media organizations also
criticized the limited freedom of the press in Sri Lanka.
Internally, the coalition government received support for
its hard line, and in May it won clearly in provincial
elections in the area in the east that was withdrawn from
the guerrilla in 2007. However, there was much talk of
electoral fraud and threats to the electorate.
The army was believed to have made a breakthrough when in
November it removed the guerrillas from its last stronghold
on the west coast of the island. It made the guerrilla
supplies of equipment from southern India more difficult and
allowed the army to advance towards the strongest stronghold
of the guerrillas, the city of Kilinochchi, from three
directions. During the final weeks of the year, fierce
fighting was fought on the outskirts of the city.
In 2016, the country continued to arrest presumed members
of the LTTE under the so-called PTA provisions that allowed
for unlimited administrative detention (no nuisance judges)
and reverse burden of proof: the detainee was guilty to the
contrary was proven. In August, the UN Committee on the
Elimination of Racial Discrimination found that PTA was used
almost exclusively against Tamils and was therefore a
In May, the country ratified the International
Disappearance Convention, but by the end of the year,
legislation had not been adopted that criminalized
disappearance. The Presidential Commission for the Inquiry
into Missing Persons reported in July that it had received
19,000 civilian reports of disappearances.
The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture visited Sri Lanka in
May 2016. He found that the police continued to use serious
forms of torture, albeit possibly to a lesser extent than
during the civil war. He further noted that the
long-standing detention provisions of the PTA "almost
invited torture and ill-treatment as routine work tools". In
August, the country ratified a declaration under the UN
Convention against Torture, thereby recognizing the UN
Torture Committee's right to receive inquiries from
individuals who believe their rights under the Convention
are violated. In November, Sri Lanka was called to the UN
Torture Committee to comment on incoming complaints. They
were all rejected.
In November, the IMF granted a loan of DKK 162.5 million.
US $ to Sri Lanka and expressed optimism about developments
in the country. The previous month, both the World Bank and
Japan's development organization had allocated $ 100 million
each. US $ to the country. In April, the IMF had given Sri
Lanka a debt of $ 1.5 billion. US $ to reduce its foreign
In April 2017, Amnesty International published the report
Only Justice can heal our wounds on decades of disappearance
in Sri Lanka and the need for the guilty to be held
accountable. Over 100,000 had disappeared in the country
since the 1980s.