Sri Lanka scraps emergency laws

2011-08-25 19:16
Colombo - Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Thursday declared an end to strict wartime emergency laws that have drawn criticism from the West and India, saying the advent of peace since the end of civil war in 2009 made them unnecessary.

The regulations gave the government wide powers to arrest people without charge as the country fought the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) separatists in a quarter-century war that ended in government victory in May 2009.

"To carry forward the day-to-day activities in a democratic way, I propose there is no need of emergency regulations anymore," Rajapaksa told parliament.

It was not immediately clear whether the regulations would be lifted now, or stay in effect until the current extension expires on September 8.

No terrorist activity

"There has been no terrorist activity since the end of the war in May 2009. I am satisfied that extension of emergency is not required anymore. So I inform [parliament] that we will not extend the emergency anymore," Rajapaksa said.

The regulations, put in place off and on since a Marxist insurgency erupted in 1971, have been continuously in force since August 2005 after an LTTE sniper assassinated Foreign Minister Lakshaman Kadirgarmar in the capital, Colombo.

Sri Lanka has been relaxing the emergency laws in steps since May 2010, as it seeks to open itself up to post-war investment to boost its $50bn economy.

Rajapaksa's government had resisted Western and Indian pressure to lift the laws right after the war, saying Sri Lanka needed time to catch LTTE remnants and prosecute those arrested under the emergency laws.

Prevention of Terrorism Act

The government still has the powerful Prevention of Terrorism Act at its disposal, which allows arrest, confiscation of property and life imprisonment for those involved in "terrorist activity".

Rights group and Western governments have blamed Sri Lanka's government for using the laws to suppress media freedom and harass political opponents. Rajapaksa's administration rejects that assertion.

Sri Lanka is also under heavy pressure from rights groups, Western governments and well-funded pro-LTTE groups in the Tamil diaspora to probe alleged war crimes in the final months of the conflict in 2009.

Read more on:    mahinda rajapaksa  |  sri lanka
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Africa: Land of Billionaires!

Find out who are the richest of the richest in Africa!

 
 

Men24.com

Every man should be able to do these three things
Goalkeeper saves five penalties with his FACE!
Hottie of the day: Jesselyn
11 things men don’t know about their clothes

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

24 hour sale – Up to 70% off

Its black Friday, save up to 70% on a wide range of awesome products at kalahari.com. Offers valid while stocks last. T&C’s apply. Shop now!

Save up to 60% on toys!

Don’t miss out on this hot offer, save up to 60% on toys. While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Grandiose ideas and plans can trip you up today. Keep things in context and take one step at a time....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.