Sri Lanka. In January, the government ordered 161 foreign Muslim preachers belonging to the Tablighi Jamaat movement to be expelled from the country. The reason stated was that they had traveled into the country on tourist visas and then preached in mosques, which is not allowed if you only have tourist visas. A government minister announced that they expelled were free to apply for so-called religious visas and then to preach.
The UN Human Rights Council called on Sri Lanka in a March resolution to investigate allegations of war crimes committed by the government army at the end of the civil war against the separatist guerrilla movement LTTE (Tamil Tigers) in the spring of 2009. The Colombo government responded to the as previously pointed out that the resolution violates the country’s sovereignty. The initiative for the resolution had been taken by the US and was supported by 24 countries. Among these were India, where a large group of Tamils live.
In May, President Mahinda Rajapaksa ordered his former political arch rival, Sarath Fonseka, to be released from prison because of Fonseka’s faltering health. Strong pressure from the United States on a pardon likely influenced the president’s decision. The condition for the pardon was that Fonseka was not allowed to hold a political office within the next seven years. Former General and Army Commander Fonseka was Rajapaksa’s armistice in the decisive final match against LTTE, but both ended up in a power struggle after the victory. Rajapaksa stepped out of the power struggle after victory over Fonseka in the 2010 presidential election, while Fonseka ended up in jail, partly for trying to overthrow the government. He was deprived of both the title of general and the post of army chief.
- AbbreviationFinder.org: Provides most commonly used acronyms and abbreviations for Sri Lanka. Also includes location map, major cities, and country overview.
President Rajapaksa was forced to give a speech he would have given at the Commonwealth Economic Forum in London in June. The reason was that the organizers of the meeting feared that large Tamil demonstrations against Rajapaksa would jeopardize security. When the President ate lunch in celebration of the British Queen’s Diamond Jubilee later that day, Tamils protested against the suspected war crimes in the spring of 2009 for which they held Rajapaksa extremely responsible.
In June, the police attacked two editors who published government-critical news on the Internet. According to the media minister, the two web-site actions committed character assassinations of leading people and disseminated false information. Several people were arrested during the raid and computers were seized. The media minister also said that the laws would now be reviewed in terms of publishing on the Internet. In July, a demonstration was held in the capital Colombo against police raids and against increasing police control of the country’s media in general.
The refugee camp Menik Farm in northern Sri Lanka was closed in September when the last refugees were moved to newly built homes or could return to their old homes. At most, around 300,000 Tamils lived in the camp shortly after the end of the war. The UN commended the Sri Lankan authorities for managing the deployment of homeless people, even though it took three years to find housing for all who lost their homes during the fighting.
When Fonseka held a political meeting in October, the turnaround became slim. Ranil Wickremesinghe, leader of the country’s largest opposition party United National Front (UNF), had called for a boycott of Fonseka’s meeting.
In November, the most serious open political riots occurred in the Tamil-dominated northern Sri Lanka since the end of the civil war. Police clashed with students at Jaffna University as students honored fallen LTTE soldiers on Martyrs’ Day on November 27. The police stated that it chose to disperse the crowd when students threw stones at the police. The Martyrs’ Day is marked by Tamils in the embrace. In Sri Lanka, LTTE as an organization is banned, as is its ideology of its own Tamil state on the island.
An internal UN report leaked in November in which the World Organization states that it failed to protect the civilian population during the final stages of the war. Up to 40,000 people may have been killed between January and May 2009.
In November, nearly 30 people were killed, the vast majority of prisoners, and more than 40 were injured in a prison revolt at a prison outside Colombo. Prisoners had surprised police in connection with a raid inside the prison.
According to countryaah, the population of Sri Lanka in 2012 was 20,907,916, ranking number 57 in the world. The population growth rate was 0.630% yearly, and the population density was 333.4082 people per km2.