Counter-terror draft to be amended again ahead of UNHRC session

19 February 2018 - 177   - 0

For many months now, the Government has been making amendments to a draft of a counter terrorism law to replace the (Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA).
The final draft was placed for approval before the Cabinet of Ministers last Wednesday by Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana, PC.
The Government wants to ensure its early passage since the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva is expected to begin its sessions on February 26 and continue till March 23.

However, at last Wednesday’s meeting, Minister Sajith Premadasa raised strong objections to the final draft being introduced in Parliament. Foreign Minister Marapana said the draft laws had been closely studied and many changes made. He said it would be imprudent to stop its passage into law at this juncture in the light of the UN Human Rights Council session.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe pointed out that it would also affect the restoration of the GSP plus tariff preferences to Sri Lanka by the European Union. He said that the draft would have to be presented to Parliament and passed.

President Sirisena asked what the reaction of the Attorney General would be. Minister Marapana said the AG had opined that certain provisions needed to be amended. The Cabinet of Ministers will take up the draft bill in a week’s time for a decision.

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