Finance Minister Mangala Samaeaweera has observed that the objective of the draft Bill on Prevention of Disappearances is to establish the freedom of life for every citizen born in Sri Lanka without fear of forcible abduction, disappearance and imprisonment. It ensures the human right of every citizen in a just, free and civilized society.
In a statement issued, Mangala Samaraweera states: “This legislation is of paramount importance. It is a human right of any person living in a free, fair and civilized society. It provides for the protection against unjust elements seeking to suppress dissenting views and demands. The main aim of this legislation is to provide every citizen protection against disappearances or kidnappings.
Through this bill we can end forever to the white van culture and repression of people who dissent, which has terrified people for so long. That is something all citizens of this country should be happy about. However, the elements that introduced the ‘white van culture’ to this country are now engaged in a process to mislead the people of this country. This bill will ensure that no future generations will suffer as those did in the past. The public must consider the merits of the bill independently and not be blinded by short-term political agendas.
Some sections divided over politics have opposed the Bill on Prevention of Disappearances, which is aimed at preventing forcible abduction, disappearance or imprisonment of citizens in future.Sri Lanka signed the International Covenant on Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance on December 10, 2015, and the government ratified it on May 25, 2016. In order to give legal validity to this, the relevant draft bill was gazetted on 09 May 2017 and submitted to parliament for approval. It was due to be debated on 05 July 2017, together with the Bribery and Corruption Act. Since there were number of speakers to debate both bills, considering its importance a timely decision was taken to debate the bill on enforced disappearances on a later date.
However, those political ghosts who introduced the white van culture to our country are now engaged in the process of misleading the people as usual. We vehemently condemn such shameful efforts by power-hungry forces to socialize such lies.
The draft bill only affects the future and has no impact on the past events and the bill will ensure that the future generations will not be fall victim to enforced disappearances as in the past. We like to ask whether eliminating the white van culture is a problem for anyone knowing the smell of humanity. Those who oppose the bill are indirectly saying that enforced disappearances should continue to provide the unfortunate opportunity to destroy the youth of this country in the future.
Not only that, the Rajapaksa loyalists by claiming that the bill would harm the war heroes have told the entire world that the Security Forces were responsible for all the abductions, disappearances and extrajudicial killings committed during their reign.
By means of this type of action Parliamentarian Mahinda Rajapaksa once again exposes himself and put forward his divided politics before the country. MP Mahinda Rajapaksa is the first person who wanted to have the attention of a Bill like this nature in the country. What is comical in all these is, it is none other than Mahinda Rajapaksa himself, then an MP, for the first time directed the attention of the country to the convention in parliament on 4th December 1989, by requesting permission for the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Missing Persons to visit Sri Lanka.
It is not surprising that such a humane Mahinda Rajapaksa has today forgotten his past, because he has now become a power-hungry double-standard politician.
It is not surprising that the Rajapaksa MP who was acting humanitarian during the past, has forgotten his own past, for, because of the political arrogance, he has become a political dualist.
Finally, let us note that the time has come to wipe out such double-standard politicians from the democratic political plane."