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Counter terrorism law- Confessions no longer admissible at trial: Sampanthan

13 October 2018 02:22 pm - 9     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan said confessions would no longer be admissible at the trial of a person charged with an offence under the new Counter Terrorism law and the same position should be applied to those already charged based on confessions.

He said if the new counter terrorism Law accepts that position, then the Government is obviously accepting the position that there can be no conviction, not even a charge based upon the confession.

Mr. Sampanthan said this in Parliament on Thursday.

“If that be so, the persons in custody, even persons who have been convicted, must be dealt with on the basis that they have been convicted on the confession which was the only available evidence, there being no other evidence against them, which the Government accepts now as a matter of policy is inadmissible, is invalid, is something that which Government policy would not permit to accept and is not in keeping with international norms. If that be the position Sir, I would appeal to the Government to take steps for the release of all these persons who are in custody based purely on their confession. Whether they have been convicted or charged and not convicted does not matter, but if the only evidence against them is a confession, then I would submit that they must be released and the Office for Reparations can play a role, in my view, should play a role, in ascertaining the truth in regard to this matter and taking steps with the Government to have these persons released,” he said.

Mr. Sampanthan said the persons handling the Office of Missing Persons, were doing their very best to be as effective as they can and we are grateful for that.

“I would like to make a few comments in regard to this matter because the ascertainment of truth, the delivery of justice, the issue of accountability, reparations and non-recurrence are all fundamental components of the transitional justice process; process to bring about reconciliation on the basis of truth, justice and accountability in the country which has gone through several decades of armed conflict. This Bill is a very welcome feature, Sir, but it must not be used to sideline truth and justice. Truth and justice must always prevail. Even the issue of missing persons or the issue of reparations must be dealt with on the basis of truth and justice. The Office on Reparations should be able to formulate policies based upon truth and to ensure justice to all victims. That is fundamental.

"I find certain provisions in the Bill which will enable the Government to play a role in regard to the implementation of whatever policies are formulated by the Office for Reparations. This must not be a matter that comes under the control of the Government, Sir. The Office for Reparations must have the freedom to act independently in this matter to formulate the required policies and be able to find avenues to offer reparation to persons who have been victimized. Youth have been victimized in a very large manner. What are the reparations that can be given? They must be empowered to acquire skills that will enable them to carry on their life in the future independently and as best as they can. There will be reparation that must be given to youth. People need to be economically empowered. People have been impoverished as a result of the war. There needs to be economic empowerment to the people to enable them to lead their life without deprivation or denial,” he said. (Yohan Perera)

  Comments - 9

  • Justice Saturday, 13 October 2018 02:59 PM

    Excellent speech. Absolutely falls in line with human rights and natural justice. In our country false admission of guilt is obtained by third degree means by torture,sexual violence etc. Thus it should not be admissible in a court of law.

    SL Saturday, 13 October 2018 05:22 PM

    This man is so silent about the Northern province mono ethnic racists propaganda and the activities and talking about reconciliation.BS.Change yourself first.

    ari Saturday, 13 October 2018 05:32 PM

    Yeah you nurtured the so called boys in the early 80s to take up violence and they ultimately devoured the very people you are now crying for. Reparation should first be sought from the millions stacked away by LTTE financiers in the western countries and not the poor tax payer in Sri Lanka.

    GR Saturday, 13 October 2018 06:30 PM

    Confessions are admissible in the justice system in all major countries but the fact remains that in most situations they are obtained via from coercion to threat to torture. If Sri Lanka has progressed to non admissibility of confessions then it should be celebrated not just by the defence Lawyers alone but by the whole country.

    rajitha7 Saturday, 13 October 2018 10:05 PM

    The guy and his party mislead the youth in the 70s with a bad idea. After the damage was done also gets the taxpayer to pay for the damages with the so-called "reparations". Will he and his party take accountability for their role?

    ram Sunday, 14 October 2018 09:44 AM

    rajitha7compensation is required for the damages by the all tri forces. i my self witnessed the dustruction by govt. forces to public and private properities with msny i nocent lives taken by the same for es.

    Ceylon Saturday, 13 October 2018 11:31 PM

    confessions in corrupt and torturous country srilanka,is totaly based on torture.this 21st century still this hell is same as 1st century.

    Ravi M Sunday, 14 October 2018 01:01 AM

    You are a very moderate politician and your points are all valid. Do not stuck in the past and make mistakes which can harm the reconciliations. Govt must act now before realises its actions are too late

    saman Sunday, 14 October 2018 10:47 AM

    "Shylock" of SL politics! Should have fixed him up at Nanthi Kadal but lives thanks to MR's ego!


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