National Freedom Front (NFF) spokesman Mohammed Muzammil said today the government was attempting to betray the security forces and mislead the people by saying the Bill on the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances (ICPAPED) would not applicable to the past.
He told a news conference that even though it was true that laws passed in parliament were not applicable to the past, that did not apply to internationals laws and conventions, according to Article 13(6) of the Constitution.
“In the case against Sepala Ekanayake who hijacked a plane, Supreme Court ruled that the Offenses Against aircraft Act No. 24 of 1982 could be applicable to the past as it had been enacted based on three International Conventions though Mr. Ekanayake’s attorney, Colvin R. de Silva argued that he could not be prosecuted because hijacking of planes was not a criminal offence in Sri Lanka at the time incident occurred. So it is clear that our Constitution has provisions to allow laws based on International Conventions to be applicable to the past,” Mr. Muzammil said.
He said under this Convention, anyone involved in incidents that took place after 1992 could be prosecuted because this convention was signed in 1992 and added that anyone connected to incidents in 1989 could not be prosecuted.
Mr. Muzammil said only 57 countries out of 193 had signed this Convention and added that the enactment of this Bill in Sri Lanka would leave room for the security forces to get trapped in the international net.
He requested all SLFP ministers in the government to oppose this move. (Ajith Siriwardana)