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Time available for any amendments to be made to Anti-Terrorism Act – SLPP

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Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Parliamentarian Sanjeewa Edirimanna said that there is still time for any amendments to be made to the Anti-Terrorism Act if the need arises as it is only a draft yet. He was addressing a media briefing at the SLPP party headquarters yesterday (7).

Edirimanna added that there isn’t an Anti-Terrorism Act in the country as it is currently being discussed and hence it is only a statutory bill. This draft becomes law only after it is debated in Parliament, passed by a majority of votes and signed by the Speaker.“The Prevention of Terrorism Act was being implemented.

Also, after the end of LTTE terrorism, there was a dialogue within the country and a dialogue at international councils that there should be a change in the laws against terrorism in Sri Lanka.

The primary focus on that was from the time President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa came to power. The basic argument here is that there is a conflict in this bill with respect to citizen’s rights, human rights and individual freedom. Every country in modern world politics has made certain laws to prevent terrorism. The basic thing that can be seen here is that no matter which country in the world, an anti-terrorist law is created. Every law is in some way in conflict with human rights and is subject to criticism,” he added.

“Therefore, this is the natural political logic regarding the Anti-Terrorism Act which is currently being drafted in Sri Lanka. Make laws to minimize it and create a crime-free society for the safety of the vast majority of ordinary people. If there is any problem in the currently drafted proposal, let’s discuss the necessary amendment. As yet this is only a proposed draft or a bill,” MP Edirimanna noted.

“As a country, we are gradually overcoming the economic crisis and moving forward satisfactorily. There is a conducive economic environment regarding Foreign Reserves. Tourism industry earnings are approaching optimal levels. There is new hope in many fields including the energy sector related to foreign investments. In all this, there are positive signs ahead for the market. Domestic manufacturing industries which are built on imported raw materials are experiencing some relief,” he said.

SLPP Chairman MP Sagara Kariyawasam said that a number of countries in the world have established rules to combat terrorism. Countries like America have stringent laws. Sri Lanka is a country that really should have anti-terror laws. Terrorism was the main reason why this country could not progress for 75 years. Sri Lanka is a country that faced JVP terrorism on two occasions and survived the third time with difficulty.

“Also, Sri Lanka is a country that survived a 30-year LTTE terrorist war which dragged the country backwards. We also suffered the Easter Sunday attack. As a country that missed many opportunities to develop due to such terrorist activities, it is necessary to have anti-terrorist laws in our country. But, no country in the world where anti-terror laws are passed have attempted to suppress the democratic rights of the people through those laws. It should be a specific law on terrorism. As a party, we are very firm in the opinion that the matters contained in an anti-terrorism act should only be for the suppression of terrorism and not for the suppression of the peoples’ democratic rights,” he added.”One of the main criticisms of this bill is the definition of terrorism. If the act of terrorism is interpreted correctly, it will be possible to solve that problem,” Kariyawasam further said.


Saturday, April 8, 2023 – 01:22

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