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  • EU delegation calls on Sampanthan

    EU delegation calls on Sampanthan

    A special delegation of the European Union called on Tamil National Alliance Leader Parliamentarian R.Sampanthan and held discussion. Sampanthan briefed them of the problems of the Tamils and the need to enact a new constitution for Tamils to live as equals in the island.
  • Alice Wells at St.Anthony’s shrine in Kochchikade

    Alice Wells at St.Anthony’s shrine in Kochchikade

    The US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Alice Wells visited the St. Anthony's Shrine in Kochchikade, one of the churches bombed by Muslim extremists on April 21, and laid a wreath in remembrance of the victims.
  • Rajitha hands over 20 endoscopy machines to hospitals

    Rajitha hands over 20 endoscopy machines to hospitals

    Health Minister Dr.Rajitha Senaratne handed over 20 endoscopy machines to authorities to be distributed to various hospitals in the island at a ceremony held recently. Health Services Director Dr.Anil Jayasinghe and Health Ministry Secretary Wasantha Perera were also present.
  • Ranil graces opening of Green Valley Apartment Complex in Kaduwela

    Ranil graces opening of Green Valley Apartment Complex in Kaduwela

    Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe graced the ceremony held to mark the opening of the Green Valley apartment complex in Ranala Kaduwala on Sunday as its Chief Guest.
  • Our next president will be one selected democratically by the UNP: Mangala

    Our next president will be one selected democratically by the UNP: Mangala

    Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera has observed that the next president of Sri Lanka will be the person democratically selected by the United National Party and its allies to stand on a platform of democracy, safeguarding the judiciary, public service and other independent institutions and putting ordinary citizens before any family.
  • Rajapaksa’s with new party, new slogans are the same - a Kobeyya will never be an eagle: Ranil

    Rajapaksa’s with new party, new slogans are the same - a Kobeyya will never be an eagle: Ranil

    Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Sunday has charged that even though the Rajapaksa family was attempting to return to power with a new party, new candidate, and new slogans, voters must understand that “a kobeyya (dove), whether it is fried or cooked in milk, is still a kobeyya, and will never be a rajaaliya (eagle).”
  • I will make Sri Lanka a peaceful, secure, safe country: Gotabaya in his maiden address

    I will make Sri Lanka a peaceful, secure, safe country: Gotabaya in his maiden address

    Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna Presidential candidate has observed that if entrusted with the stewardship of this country by the people, his first task would be to ensure complete safety and security throughout the nation. He had complete confidence that we would once again be able to make Sri Lanka one of the most peaceful, secure, and safe countries in the world. He would accept responsibility for people’s safety, and the safety of children and loved ones.
  • Gotabaya is SLPP’s Presidential candidate: Mahinda announces

    Gotabaya is SLPP’s Presidential candidate: Mahinda announces

    Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna Leader Mahinda Rajapakse has announced that former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa would be the Presidential candidate of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna.
  • US Assistant Secretary Alice Wells calls on Mahinda

    US Assistant Secretary Alice Wells calls on Mahinda

    United States Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Alice Wells called on Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa at his official residence in Wijerama on Sunday morning, August 11 and held discussions. She is currently on a regional tour visiting India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
  • SLPP leadership handed to Mahinda Rajapaksa

    SLPP leadership handed to Mahinda Rajapaksa

    The Leadership of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) has been handed to the Opposition Mahinda Rajapaksa at its National Convention held at the Sugathathasa Indoor Stadium today, Sunday, August 11.
  • Govt plans to sign agreements violating the constitution: Dinesh charges

    Govt plans to sign agreements violating the constitution: Dinesh charges

    Joint Opposition Parliamentarian MEP Leader Dinesh Gunawardena has charged that the government was entering into international agreements detrimental to the country and in violation of the constitution.
  • Navin Dissanayake at Naga Vihara

    Navin Dissanayake at Naga Vihara

    Plantation Minister Navin Eranjan Dissanayake visited Yarl Naga Vihara on Saturday, August 10 during his visit to Jaffna.
 

Counter Terrorism Bill drafted to fill vacuum to fight global terrorism: Prime Minister Ranil Wikcremasinghe in the House

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe 700 02

Prime Minister Ranil Wikcremasinghe has told the House that the Counter-Terrorism Bill was drafted to fill the vacuum to fight global terrorism. A group of professionals took part in preparing this Bill.

He also sought unconditional support of all political parties for the passage of the Bill.

Premier Wickremesinghe made this observation responding to questions raised by Opposition lawmaker Anura Kumara Dissanayake.

In his address in the House, Wickremasingeh said:

“We lacked the laws to control terrorism that started with the assassination of Jaffna Mayor Alfred Duraiappah in July 1975. We had the Penal Code. So, the Prevention of Terrorism Act No.48 of 1979 was moved. The second clause of this legislation identified terrorism as an offence but was limited to the boundaries of the country.

Let us discuss the evolution of British laws on counter terrorism. England lacked laws to prevent terrorism in Northern Ireland in 1971. A temporary Act was passed to prevent terrorism allowing the British Government to take action in Northern Ireland. However, the British Parliament passed many laws from 2000 to 2005 to prevent terrorism. The turning point of laws against terrorism was the attack on the World Trade Centre buildings in the US on 11 September 2001 followed by the London bombing on 7 July 2005.

Soon after 9/11, the British Parliament passed the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act. The Terrorism Act of 2006 has identified praising London bombing as an offence. Glorifying terrorism was made an offence. Later, the definition of terrorism also changed a few times.

With the fight against terrorism moving away from traditional warfare, it is no longer considered a traffic offence if a terrorist drives a vehicle into a group of people killing them. So, it is necessary to pass new laws to face these new situations.

The Counter-Terrorism Bill was drafted to fill the vacuum to fight global terrorism. A group of professionals took part in preparing this Bill. It was gazetted and was moved in Parliament. The Bill is now stuck at the Oversight Committee. Diverse issues including natural disasters and the Constitutional crisis delayed the Bill progressing. Non-experts are making comments on the Counter-Terrorism Bill.

But the question is whether we are able to take legal action against terrorist activities conducted in other countries? Can we obtain evidence against such activities? Anyone who identifies the Counter-Terrorism bill providing support to terrorists as well as those who criticise the Bill provides indirect support for global terrorism.

The second clasue this Act shall apply to any citizen of Sri Lanka, who commits an offence under this Act, within or outside the territory of the Republic of Sri Lanka, any person who commits an offence under this Act, wholly or partly, in Sri Lanka; in or over territorial waters of Sri Lanka; in the airspace of Sri Lanka; on board or in respect of an aircraft or vessel registered in Sri Lanka or belonging to or used by the Government of Sri Lanka.

The third clause gives the definition of terrorism. So, any person, who commits any act referred to in the subsection, with the intention of – intimidating a population; wrongfully or unlawfully compelling the Government of Sri Lanka, or any other government, or an international organisation, to do or to abstain from doing any act; preventing any such government from functioning; or causing harm to the territorial integrity or sovereignty of Sri Lanka or any other sovereign country, shall be guilty of the offence of terrorism. I would like to remind that there are ongoing conflicts with competing power centres in Syria. USA, Russia, Turkey and others have all intervened. We also do not want to get drawn into such a situation. Therefore, defence lawyers can contend that there is no central power or authority in Syria and this provision does not apply to a civil conflict intertwined with terrorism.

There are no benefits offered to terrorists in this legislation other than the necessary provisions to identify an act of terrorism committed to about in Sri Lanka an offence.”

 

 

 

 

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