Tamil Information Centre
User Name:   
  Remember Me  
Sign up  |  Forget password
    Contact us
Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) in Sri Lanka: Why we need to unite against it
Published Date: 15/04/2014 (Tuesday)

The PTA law is being applied arbitrarily, and even offences that could be dealt with under the normal laws are being dealt with under the PTA. This is at a time when the Emergency Laws have already been revoked. Since the PTA law is being wrongly used in this way, it is necessary for us to acquire a good knowledge of what this law is and what are its implications.

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) is very clear about civil and political rights of the people but all its provisions are not enshrined in our country’s law. Right to Life, Right to Liberty, Anti-torture etc. are enshrined in our country’s law. Such rights are not negotiable. Yet, when a State of Emergency is declared by the Govt., some of these rights can be limited.

In August 2011, the Emergency Laws were lifted. However, under the PTA, all the provisions of ICCPR are made invalid. PTA law is now part of the normal law in the country and it can be continued, unlike Emergency Laws which can be lifted. Yet, under the PTA, the Emergency Laws can be convoked. For example, banning certain organisations, prolonged detention of persons etc. The regulations promulgated under PTA law are, however, a violation of the provisions of ICCPR.

Recently, when some organisations were banned, the necessary regulations were not gazetted at once but it is only subsequently that these are being gazetted. Not only the banned organisations and their members, but even those who have connections with them may fear that they too will be arrested. Such actions by the Govt. seem to be in retaliation to certain steps being taken by the international community.

Presently, Emergency Law is not in force but the PTA is being used in its place. This is dangerous because we who are working for the protection of the Rule of Law could also be in danger. The Bar Association is working against the militarization of society.

We must also identify certain dangerous clauses in the PTA law. For example, the term “unlawful activities”. This is not defined anywhere. It could be omission or commission and it does not have any bounds, because anything could be defined or interpreted as “unlawful activity”.  Thereby, detention for 18 months is also possible.

Already, there are people who are in prolonged detention, and this trend could continue. We have to learn to face these things in the future. Even in the case of Ruki Fernando, the “unlawful activity” clause was used to detain him for 72 hours. Bail can be refused also. Only the Attorney General can decide on bail or release but is the AG free to act on his own?

The AG is under the President’s purview but the decisions are actually taken by the Defence Secretary. At present, fair trial, or the right to free trial, is denied. Ruki and Fr. Praveen were released only because of the public outcry. Even a lawyer’s right to intervene on behalf of a detainee is highly restricted. Issuance of a receipt to family members of detained persons is taking place only now, though it did not happen earlier. Even a confession cannot be coerced from a detainee. Yet, proof that a confession was not given willingly is a burden on the accused himself. This is a serious situation. 

The PTA law of 1979 is a draconian piece of legislation that has caused fear among the people. Therefore, we must all unite against it.

Written by - Chandrapala Kumarage, Attorney-at-Law

- Taken form the Notes of discussion on Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) held at CSR, Col.10 on 10th April 2014 ( courtesy Right to Life Human Rights Center)


Share on Facebook

 Latest 25 News/ பிந்திய 25 செய்திகள்:
Tamil Information Centre (TIC) expresses grief over brutal, cowardly attacks on churches and other places in Sri Lanka
Published Date: 15/04/2014 (Monday)
அனுபவம் மிக்க சிரேஸ்ட தொகுப்பாளர் N.T Jegan அவர்களோடு info4tamils இணைய வழி தொலைக்காட்சியினூடக கண்காட்சி பற்றிய கலந்துரையாடல்
பிரசுரிக்கபட்ட திகதி: 15/04/2014 (வியாழக்கிழமை)
இலங்கைத் தமிழர்கள்: காலவரையறையற்றதொரு பாரம்பரியம் என்ற கண்காட்சிதொடர்பான தமிழ் தகவல் நடுவத்தின் (TIC) உத்தியோகபூர்வ அறிக்கை
Published Date: 15/04/2014 (Thursday)
கண்ணீர் அஞ்சலி
Published Date: 15/04/2014 (Thursday)
Report reveals bone samples belong to 1499-1719 AD era
Published Date: 15/04/2014 (Monday)
Northern Province’s Economic Development Framework
Published Date: 15/04/2014 (Monday)
OMP welcomes inclusion of its interim relief proposals in budget
Published Date: 15/04/2014 (Monday)
Raghavan to take public concerns to UNHrc
Published Date: 15/04/2014 (Saturday)
Jaffna to get Olympic-standard aquatic complex
Published Date: 15/04/2014 (Saturday)
Treat women and girls with respect - EDITORIAL
Published Date: 15/04/2014 (Saturday)
Vandalizing archaeological sites - Cabinet approves upping fines, jail terms
Published Date: 15/04/2014 (Saturday)
Right time to abolish executive presidency - JVP
Published Date: 15/04/2014 (Saturday)
International Court Of Justice & The ‘Ceylon Tamils’
Published Date: 15/04/2014 (Saturday)
British Tamil Students Build War-Torn Mullaitivu's First Media Centre
Published Date: 15/04/2014 (Friday)
Joint Press Release: Sri Lanka sends war crimes denier to Geneva as part of official delegation.
Published Date: 15/04/2014 (Thursday)
Karannagoda drags Gota into mass murder case
Published Date: 15/04/2014 (Monday)
Tamils’ Hopes Fading: Every Village Is Sinhalese? Rāghavan Sacked?
Published Date: 15/04/2014 (Sunday)
106 Tamil Diaspora Groups Jointly Urge UNHRC Not to Give any more Additional Time to Sri Lanka - Urge to Refer to ICC
Published Date: 15/04/2014 (Sunday)
Ten Years After A War Without Witnesses: Global Tamil Forum Calls To Ensure Sri Lanka Firmly Remains On The UNHRC Agenda
Published Date: 15/04/2014 (Sunday)
Human Rights Council 40: UK Statement for the Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the Protection of Human Rights while Countering Terrorism
Published Date: 15/04/2014 (Saturday)
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, while speaking at the Kilinochchi District development review meeting, blamed the Northern Provincial Council authorities, saying that they have almost become inactive towards the problems faced by the people in North.
Published Date: 15/04/2014 (Friday)
Ranil blasts Northern Provincial Council
Published Date: 15/04/2014 (Friday)
Approval for TRC mechanism Navi Pillay blasts Govt
Published Date: 15/04/2014 (Thursday)
A New ‘Washington Consensus’ ‘Indo–Pacific’ and India’s Emerging Role
Published Date: 15/04/2014 (Thursday)
US resumes Millennium Challenge aid to Sri Lanka
Published Date: 15/04/2014 (Thursday)
Support our work to bring rights to life in any way big or small

Donate using PayPal

Select dates to view
past and future events
<<<Sep - 2019>>>
 Stand up for Rights and Justice
Grant 18 year old Saudi Woman Rahaf asylum in the UK
Take Action
Trump’s child hostages
Set Noura Free -- sign now!
Tamil men accuse continuing torture in Sri Lanka Take a stand against torture and urge UN Human Rights commission for human rights to investigate
Latest Publication
Proto Sumero Dravidian: The Common Origin of Sumerian and Dravidian Languages Conference Report:

Proto Sumero Dravidian: The Common Origin of Sumerian and Dravidian Languages


About us
Site Help
Getting in touch
Facebook Youtube twitter
Sitemap  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms and Conditions
Copyright © 2019 ticonline.org, All rights reserved.