Govt. to enact witness protection Bill

4 March 2012 08:16 pm - 11     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Amid pressure from certain world powers including the United States to address accountability, the government assured the international community last week that the witness protection Bill would be made a law soon.

On the sidelines of the 19th session of the United Nations Human Rights (UNHRC) Council, a governmental delegation held a side event with representatives of various diplomatic missions in Geneva, international organizations including the Amnesty International and LTTE fronts such as the Global Tamil Forum and the Tamil Centre for Human Rights.

At that meeting, the Amnesty International in particular raised concerns about investigations into various issues.

In response to some of those remarks, Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem assured that the proposed witness protection bill would be enacted in Parliament soon. The bill seeks to ensure the credibility of evidence to be extracted from witnesses through video conferencing.

When evidence is recorded from witnesses through video conferencing, there can be concerns about the credibility of such information. The witnesses can be influenced by someone in the background when evidence is being given through video conferencing from a different location. 

The proposed law will address such issues, and it will enable the authorities concerned to  take measures to ensure the credulity of information n to be extracted.

Also, the bill will provide for a new methodology under the provisions of the bill   to facilitate witnesses in difference contexts.

The government first introduced this bill in Parliament in June, 2008, and later it was referred for further discussion after a debate.  Currently, the Legal Draftsman’s Department is adding finishing touches to the bill to be enacted. (Kelum Bandara) 

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  Comments - 11

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  • A Concerned Citizen Monday, 05 March 2012 07:49 AM

    Why do we have to wait until others tell us?

    citizen1 Monday, 05 March 2012 08:29 AM

    This is a huge joke on potential witnesses....infact their lives may be at more risk than before. As you say, the white van will be waiting regardless!

    Nuzrath Anver Tuesday, 06 March 2012 03:06 AM

    Witness are shot before entering courts. What is the point have this law.I really do not understand.

    Nodrog Monday, 05 March 2012 10:15 AM

    What a joke. It's like putting the hens in the care of the fox!

    buffaloa citizen Monday, 05 March 2012 10:33 AM

    Absolute truth. This also confirms that the culprits are none other than the top guys.

    buffaloa citizen Monday, 05 March 2012 10:35 AM

    Absolute right. This shows the level of education, ignorance and basic common sense of the leaders.

    Kolomba Kaka Monday, 05 March 2012 01:55 AM

    Even if this bill is introducted there is no gurantee for the safety of witnesses, since the Police and Judiciary are not impartial. These two important departments must definitely come under independant Commissions and NOT under the Presidency.

    Calistus Jayatilleke Monday, 05 March 2012 02:44 AM

    Whether there is a law for witness protection, or not, the White Van will still continue to abduct those witnesses!

    Lanka Muslim, UK Monday, 05 March 2012 11:46 AM

    Is it not clear that our brains are not in the place where they should be.

    Broadgauge Monday, 05 March 2012 04:01 AM

    Thanks to the International community this is happening. it is time to note that this not like when King Dutugammunu ruled the island and did want he wanted to the people. Now the world is open due to technology and is being monitored.

    harry Monday, 05 March 2012 08:52 PM

    Remember these people voted against the "Freedom of Information " Act which is something fundamental in a democracy.


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