Registration of ethnic, religion based political parties to face ban in future
By Yohan Perera and Ajith Siriwardana
The Sectoral Oversight Committee on National Security has proposed to immediately ban attire such as the burqa and suspend registration of political parties on ethnic and religious basis.
Meanwhile, an amendment has been suggested to be made to the Penal code to identify making hateful statements and propagating harmful and false statements as criminal offences.
This was stated in a special report presented to Parliament yesterday to resolve 14 controversial issues in the society following the Easter Attack and the report was tabled by the Committee Chairman MP Malith Jayatilaka.
The report has proposed adding a new chapter to the penal code, which defines the crimes against social reconciliation. Accordingly, sections 120 and 291 of the penal code should be amended as proposed by the ministry of justice in order to define incitement to violence, making hateful statements and propagating harmful and false information as criminal offences.
The report states that a number of countries have already banned wearing burqa and the ISIS headquarters in Syria also banned the attire on September 5, 2019. The report suggests that the police should have the power to request any person wearing a face covering veil in a public place to take off such veil in order to establish the person’s identity. “If such a request by police officer is not complied with, police should have the power to arrest the individual without a warrant,” it said.
The report has recommended to the Election Commission to enact legislation to suspend registration of political parties on ethnic and religious basis. Accordingly, the registration of political parties which have some racial or religious conflict in their constitution or in the name of the party is prohibited. It has been proposed that such a party should be converted into a political or non-religious political party within a specified period of time.
It contains recommendations on 14 areas including the National defence policy, amending the immigration and emigration law in line with the national and international new developments, The manner of amending the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Law.