Issuing a statement regarding the recently gazetted ‘Anti Terrorism Bill’, the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) today announced that it would not hesitate to challenge any bill that would deem to undermine the Rule of Law and the Liberty of the Citizen in the country.
The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) observed that the Government published an ‘Anti Terrorism Bill’, on the 22nd of March 2023.
This Bill seeks to abolish the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and introduce an Anti-Terrorism Act. The BASL is of the view that no legislation should be introduced to curtail and suppress, directly or indirectly the fundamental rights of citizens, enshrined in the Constitution and that this Bill if passed into law will have far reaching effects.
The BASL stated that the Bill has been published in the Gazette without adequate consultations with the relevant stakeholders including the BASL.
Therefore, the BASL urges the Government to consider to defer the Bill until there is a wider stakeholder consultation and the concerns of stakeholders including the BASL are taken into account. This statement had been issued by BASL President Kaushalya Nawaratne and its Secretary Isuru Balapatabendi. (Lakmal Sooriyagoda)