The Cabinet on Tuesday approved the Policy and Legal Framework relating to the proposed Counter Terrorism Act (CTA) which would replace the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), Cabinet Spokesman, acting Mass Media and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Karunaratne Paranawithana said yesterday.
The proposal submitted to the Cabinet for the approval of the Policy and Legal Framework of the CTA by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe also decided to refer it to the Parliamentary Sectoral Oversight Committee on National Security requesting their observations within a months’ time and to direct the Legal Draftsman to draft legislation accordingly, taking into consideration the Policy and Legal Framework along with the observations of the Parliamentary Sectoral Oversight Committee on National Security.
Paranawithana said a committee chaired by the Minister of Law and Order and Southern Development Sagala Ratnayake had been appointed to draft a new counter terrorism law instead of the existing Prevention of Terrorism Act for providing adequate provisions for prevention of terrorism and affirm Sri Lanka's commitment on human rights responsibilities.
Accordingly, the Cabinet has decided to forward the policy and legal framework drafted by the said committee to the Sectoral Oversight Committee on National Security for further discussions.
Prime Minister Wickremesinghe told the Cabinet that he had appointed a committee headed by Minister of Law and Order to draft the Policy and Legal Framework to introduce a new Counter Terrorism Law, repealing and replacing the Prevention of Terrorism Act in order to ensure full compliance with Sri Lanka’s Human Rights obligations, while having adequate provisions to combat and deal with terrorism.
The Committee has concluded its deliberations and submitted a draft Policy and Legal Framework relating to the proposed Counter Terrorism Act of Sri Lanka.
Paranawithana also said Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera had also submitted a report containing the proposals of his Ministry to be incorporated in the new Act and the Sectoral Oversight Committee in Parliament.
The Foreign Affairs Ministry proposals are reported to have included the current global trend in countering terrorism and protecting of human rights at the same time.
There were demands by various global agencies to Sri Lanka in the recent past, to drop the PTA and introduce new legislations instead. (Sandun A Jayasekera)