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Sri Lanka Plans to Deport 1,500 Pakistani and Afghan Refugees

A Christian man stands inside his destroyed house in Gojra town. Image by Muhammad Tahir. Copyright Demotix (4/8/2009)

A Christian man stands inside his destroyed house in Gojra, Pakistan. Image by Muhammad Tahir. Copyright Demotix (4/8/2009)

Facing persecution in Pakistan, many Ahmadiyya Muslims and Christians have taken refuge in Sri Lanka. These refugees are mostly held in Boossa and Mirihana detention centers and have to live on government-provided rations as they are not eligible for work.

According to the media, the Sri Lankan government is preparing to deport about 1,450 Pakistani and 50 Afghan refugees who have apparently fled to rural areas in Sri Lanka. More than 1,400 of the targeted refugees have been registered as asylum seekers at the UN refugee agency office in Colombo.

Human Rights Watch has requested the Sri Lankan government not to summarily deport these minorities. Meanwhile, Pakistan has disowned these refugees and an uncertain future awaits for them if they are deported.

W3Lanka English blog opines:

The practice of deporting them is very unethical. They can be economic migrants per se the claim of the Pakistan government. What if they are actually threatened people?

Attacks Against Muslims Continue In Sri Lanka

It has been two weeks since the violent riots against Muslims in the Sri Lankan coastal cities of Aluthgama and Beruwala. Although the situation has died down after widespread condemnation, sporadic violence against Muslims continues in different parts of Sri Lanka.

Blogger Abdul Khaleq tweets about one such recent incident in the Ratmalana division in Colombo district:

Blogger D. B. S. Jeyaraj has details on the unsuccessful arson attack on the Thalayan Bawa Jumma Mosque on Borupane road in Ratmalana in the early hours of 29 June, 2014.

Contraception Woes For Sri Lankan Women

Journalist, photographer and blogger Meg at Life in Lanka blog reports that in remote Sri Lankan villages some women do not have a say in what type of contraception they use.

Their husbands were not keen on using condoms and preferred that their wives used contraception instead; so the inexpensive, easily available and quite effective condom for men was not an option, leaving contraception entirely up to the women.

Due to the fact that contraceptives for women usually have side effects their sufferings never end.

Legalizing And Regulating The Sex workers in Sri Lanka

Shilpa Samaratunge, a development worker, discusses in Groundviews about the problems surrounding the sex workers in Sri Lanka. Instead of abolishing and criminalizing them, which is the path Sri Lanka currently is on, she suggests to legalize the profession and impose regulation and provide health-services for the sex workers.

Enforced Disappearances in Sri Lanka: 2006-2013

Groundviews highlights a report (pdf), which aims to facilitate the criminalization of enforced disappearances in Sri Lanka during 2006-2013, recognize and uphold the rights of the victims families.

Deported Sri Lankan Asylum Seekers Speak of Mistreatment by Australian Authorities

Thirty seven Sinhalese and four Tamil asylum seekers from Sri Lanka sailed in a boat towards Australia and were intercepted west of the Cocos Island late last month by Australian authorities. They were returned to Sri Lanka, their point of origin, and they appeared in a court in the country's southwest yesterday.

Journalist Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai reports that the Sri Lankan deportees claimed that they were mistreated. He also tweeted (@DushiYanthini) photos and news from the ground:

Citizen journalism site Groundviews also commented:

9 Essentials Uncles You Need In Sri Lanka

Cerno opines that ordinary Sri Lankans need the right network of relationships with many ‘powerful uncles’ to survive properly.

Traditional Media Conspires Against Facebook

Tech blogger Amitha Amarasinghe alleges that Facebook is being portrayed negatively in mainstream media in Sri Lanka accompanied with saucy headlines like “Student commits Suicide over a Facebook photo”, “Facebook love ends in Death” etc:

All of a sudden, there is a huge increase in number of mass media content highlighting the bad side of Facebook and Social Media. If you look at these stories, the local media is highlighting the “Facebook” part of the story as the ‘news’, but undermine the social, cultural, and political factors leading to those sad incidents.

Sri Lanka's Best Bus Terminal

Freelance writer, translator and blogger Nandasiri Wanninayaka writes about the multi-purpose bus terminal-cum shopping and entertainment complex in the resort town of Negombo:

You wouldn’t expect a bus stand in Sri Lanka to be like a mini airport. But if you happen to go to Negombo Bus Stand, renamed as “Negombo Bus Terminal,” it is a little airport. It has almost all the facilities needed in a modern day bus stand. It is considered Sri Lanka’s best bus stand in terms of facilities.

Sri Lanka's Census On War Dead – A Step Towards Transparency and Reconciliation

Tamil Demonstrators held a rally in UK. Image by LK Aldama. Copyright Demotix (2/11/2013)

Tamil Demonstrators held a rally in UK. Image by LK Aldama. Copyright Demotix (2/11/2013)

The Government of Sri Lanka has started a census on the deaths, missing people and damage to property in the conflict with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam affecting the Tamil minorities from 1983 to 2009. Serendipity blog hopes that the counting would be done properly:

Whilst the press and the HRC and other bodies are hailing it as a first step, I personally would like to see a proper accounting of ALL people NOT accounted for since 1982, as it also may include the 30,000+ people missing during the second JVP uprising, whose remains have NOT yet been found.

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