Sri Lanka to abolish emergency laws

Emergency laws are in force in the country for most of the past 30 years.

Colombo: Sri Lankan government on Tuesday said it
would soon lift the draconian emergency laws in force in the
country for most of the past 30 years.

"Steps have already been taken to lift emergency
regulations in consultation with the (National) Security
Council," Prime Minister D M Jayaratne told the parliament.

Jayaratne said the proposals would be presented to the
parliament shortly.

The tough emergency laws allow suspects to be detained
indefinitely and without any charge.

The prime minister said since the end of the war against
the LTTE in May 2009, most of the clauses in the Public
Security Ordinance have been abolished.

However, a few of the clauses under the ordinance
remained in force since the LTTE continues to be active
overseas, he said.

The last phase of emergency laws were reintroduced
and remained in force continually since 2005 after the
assassination of Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar by
suspected Tamil Tiger rebels.

The LTTE waged a bloody three-decade civil war for a
separate state for the Tamils of Sri Lanka, alleging
discrimination against the minority community at the hands of
the majority Sinhalas.

But the Lankan military crushed the LTTE by killing its
supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran in May 2009. The ethnic
conflict left between 80,000 and 100,000 people dead.


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