Tabling of controversial “Anti-Terrorism Bill” delayed
By: Isuru Parakrama
Colombo (LNW): The tabling of the proposed “Anti-Terrorism Bill” has been delayed, Justice Minister Wijedasa Rajapaksa said.
Speaking to reporters, the Justice Minister noted that the bill was widely condemned across all social sectors in the country and was delayed subject to the requests made by the opposition and lawyers.
The controversial “Anti-Terrorism Bill” was purported to be a heinous weapon against democracy vesting an unimaginable power with the President and the State, which, according to some analysts, can label common citizens as ‘terrorists.’
The bill was presented in replacement to the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and was gazetted only to meet a severe backlash from a number of parties, including the Opposition, Civil Society, Activists and the International Community.
The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) revealed that the bill was gazetted without adequate consultations with the relevant stakeholders, and according to some critics, it has been formulated in the government’s sole intention of repressing the dissent taking almost every public action evident during the ‘Aragalaya’ people’s protest which ousted Sri Lanka’s eighth Executive President Gotabaya Rajapaksa into account.