Explaining the move to lift the ban on several earlier proscribed organisations and individuals, the foreign ministry today urged the remaining banned entities to make public commitments condemning violence and renouncing separatism in order for de-proscription of those entities.
By a gazette extraordinary issued on Friday, the government lifted the ban on several outfits and individuals previously thought to have been working for the LTTE. On March 21, 2014, 16 organizations and 424 individuals were proscribed under the UN Act No: 45 of 1968. But the latest gazette notification bans only eight organizations and 155 individuals.
“We hope that other groups and individuals make similar public commitments condemning violence and renouncing separatism in addition to other necessary measures. Then they too can be considered for de-proscription and join other formerly proscribed organisations, both in the North and South, who have successfully entered the democratic mainstream and are now working for the betterment of Sri Lanka,” the ministry said in a statement.
“The initial proscription process was conducted in haste and was not subject to a rigorous process of assessment and verification. Many of the listed organisations had never condoned violence or terrorism. Some of the proscribed individuals were even dead at the time of proscription - including one individual who died 8 years prior to the proscription,” the ministry said.
It also said that over the last six months, law enforcement and intelligence agencies have conducted a comprehensive and careful review of the proscribed organisations and individuals. “The review process concluded that there was no intelligence or evidence justifying the listing of eight organisations and 267 persons,” it said.
“As a result of this review, our law enforcement and intelligence services are now able to target their resources more efficiently and focus their energy on genuine threats improving the security of all Sri Lankans. Furthermore, since the new Government came to power with a mandate for democracy, good governance, rule of law, accountability and reconciliation many listed groups made public statements expressing their commitment to a united, undivided Sri Lanka in global forums.”
The statement also said that as per it’s legal obligations, the Government will annually review and update the list of proscribed persons.