Sri Lanka PTA Law: The Sri Lankan government is drafting a new anti-terrorism law to replace the controversial Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). Justice Minister Vijayadas Rajapakse gave this information on Sunday. The PTA was introduced in 1979 as a temporary arrangement to counter violence by Tamil minority extremist groups.
The European Union had put pressure
Vijayadas Rajapaksa said that we are willing to bring anti-terror law so that national security can be ensured. The European Union (EU) had put pressure on the Sri Lankan government to repeal the PTA. In mid-2021, the EU Parliament resolved that the GSP+ (Generalized System of Preferences) preferential trade facility for Sri Lankan exports should be terminated unless the government takes action to repeal the PTA.
The law allows for indefinite detention of persons without producing them in courts. Earlier only northern Tamil minorities had demanded its repeal. However, in the Sinhala-majority south, the demand for its repeal had increased since July this year.
There was a protest against the PTA
Ranil Wickremesinghe, the successor of former Rashtrapati Gotabaya, used the PTA extensively to quell the demonstrations. The protesting student leaders, including a Buddhist monk, are currently jailed under the PTA. There have been street protests in August demanding his release and repeal of the PTA.