People in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Editorial credit: San Luigi /

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka experienced improvements in political rights and civil liberties after the 2015 election of President Maithripala Sirisena, which ended the more repressive rule of Mahinda Rajapaksa. However, the Sirisena administration was slow to implement transitional justice mechanisms needed to address the aftermath of a 26-year civil war between government forces and ethnic Tamil rebels, who were defeated in 2009. Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s election as president in November 2019 and the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna’s (SLPP) victory in the August 2020 parliamentary polls emboldened the Rajapaksa family, which has taken steps to empower the executive, roll back accountability mechanisms for civil war–era rights violations, and further militarize the island.

People gather in Myanmar to protest the February 1, 2021 military coup. (Image credit: Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Freedom in the World — Sri Lanka Country Report

Sri Lanka is rated Partly Free in Freedom in the World 2022, Freedom House's annual study of political rights and civil liberties worldwide.


Freedom on the Net— Sri Lanka Country Report

Sri Lanka is rated Partly Free in Freedom on the Net, Freedom House's comprehensive study of internet freedom around the globe.