New laws replace emergency regulations

1 September 2011 04:30 am - 12     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Sri Lanka has introduced new legislation which allows it to continue to detain without charging people who are suspected of terrorism.

Justice Minister Rauff Hakim told BBC on Wednesday that the new laws will be in place with the expiry of similar provisions under the country's controversial emergency laws.

Last week President Mahinda Rajapaksa announced the imminent lifting of the country's state of emergency.
 
The laws have been in place since 1971 except for very brief intervals and were renewed by parliament every month - even after the government declaring the military defeat of the Tamil Tigers in 2009.
 
Over thousand to be freed

Minister Hakeem said that between 1200 and 1500 people in detention may get released but there are some more who needs to be kept in custody.

"We are planning to bring in new legislation to parliament as an urgent proposal to keep them in detention until they are charged," he added.
 
According to him new the legislation will allow the government to keep some suspects of hard core terrorism in detention.
 
"The new bill for legislation will be in addition to the existing Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). This new law will restore detention powers. We expect the new draft bill to be approved by cabinet next week prior to be presented in parliament," the Minister told Sandehshaya.
 
However, "there will be an opportunity of forty eight hours to file any objections to Supreme Court against the new legislation," he added.
 
Sweeping powers
 
The emergency regulations gave security forces sweeping powers of arrest and detention.
 
Western governments and India had been urging an end to the emergency, arguing that its provisions made it easy for the government to detain people unfairly and silence anti-government activists.
 
Amnesty International welcoming the lifting of the state of emergency called upon the Sri Lankan government to follow it up by removing the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA).

“There are hundreds of people who remain in detention under these regulations who should be released immediately, or charged with a recognisable crime in a proper court of law,” said Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific director. (Source: BBC)
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  Comments - 12

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  • UK TAMIL BOY Thursday, 01 September 2011 09:52 AM

    HA.......HA ........ONLY NAME CHANGE , THAT'S ALL.

    Pemal Herath Thursday, 01 September 2011 11:54 AM

    So? Are u saying emergency laws should remain for 25, 50, or 100 years? Or........... until crows turn white?

    Jodie Windenburg Thursday, 01 September 2011 05:01 AM

    What's the big Idea of lifting emmergency if the same rules are going to come in as normal legislations?

    Saman Thursday, 01 September 2011 04:58 AM

    Same story. Only the actors have changed.

    MK Thursday, 01 September 2011 05:11 AM

    The emergency was made to expire in an adhoc manner, without properly looking into the security issue. Its good that they are bringing extra provision to support security, preventing a an eventual LTTE deproscription of the organisation in the country, once the emergency relapses. Good move

    PresiDunce Bean Thursday, 01 September 2011 05:08 AM

    What a joke.

    Wasantha Thursday, 01 September 2011 05:45 AM

    then No affect removing emergency low.

    badam Thursday, 01 September 2011 06:19 AM

    So why did you then lift the Emergency?

    Rahmathullah M. H Thursday, 01 September 2011 06:52 AM

    This means emergency law will continue to exist under different name. You think you are wiser than all people in the world?

    Albert Thursday, 01 September 2011 07:07 AM

    Well even the countries like USA and UK have similar legislatures for national security after 9/11

    Basila Thursday, 01 September 2011 07:15 AM

    this is same as reforming of 17th constitution.

    D Thursday, 01 September 2011 08:37 AM

    Fellow Sri Lankans, don't forget that we only fought and won a 30 year long war with one of the most dangerous and global terrorist organisations in the world. The war maybe over, but the network still remains.


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