Sri Lanka: Presidential Commission takes stand of Government in repealing terrorism act 

The Presidential Commission of Inquiry appointed to probe alleged human rights and International Humanitarian Laws violations has disagrees with the view that the Prevention of Terrorism Act should be repealed. 

The commission has been handed over the report to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, in which it points out that the Act should be amended after studying the laws introduced to prevent terrorism in other countries, including Great Britain.

The Commission, which has paid special attention to Sections 9, 11 and 13 of the Prevention of Terrorism Act and has made three proposals in the interim report on the implementation of the Prevention of Terrorism Act in a more democratic manner.

The report suggests that in enforcing detention orders by section 9, for persons detained for a minimum of three months or more, indictments should be filed and trials should be completed.

Furthermore, the report points out the possibility of detaining the arrested under Article 11 at their home or village under special security instead of being held in prison.

The Interim Report of the Commission suggests the importance of appointing an Advisory Council of at least three members representing all communities to advise the President in accordance with Article 13.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa through Extraordinary Gazette notifications on 22 January 2021 and on 12 February 2021 appointed the 4-member Commission of Inquiry (Col) to investigate, inquire into and report or take necessary actions on findings of preceding Commissions or Committees appointed to investigate into human rights violations, serious violations of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and other such offences.

It is to be noted that recently European Union (EU) Parliament has adopted a resolution calling Sri Lanka to repeal the Prevention Of Terrorism Act (PTA).

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