(MENAFN - NewsBytes)
Replace anti-terror law in compliance with global-norms: EU tells Lanka
16 Feb 2019
The EU has urged Sri Lanka to repeal its controversial anti-terror law and replace with a new one in compliance with the international norms.
Sri Lanka's human rights record, particularly over the impunity enjoyed by law enforcement officers, has been the subject of international condemnation.
EU asked Lanka to change laws at the 22nd session of the EU-Sri Lanka Joint Commission on February 14.
Prevention of Terrorist Act enacted at the beginning of civil-war
The country has been grappling with a new counter-terrorism law in view of the criticism on the Prevention of Terrorist Act (PTA) of 1979. This was enacted at the beginning of the Tamil separatist war in the north and east regions.
EU welcomed Lanka's efforts to implement UNHRC resolution
Sri Lanka was urged by the European Union (EU) to repeal the current anti-terror law and replace it with a new counter-terrorism law in keeping with the international standards, said the statement issued at the commission in Brussels.
The European Union welcomed Sri Lanka's steps taken to implement the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution of October 2015 in the country.
Lanka's human rights record under international focus due to PTA
Lanka was praised for setting up of the Office on Missing Persons (OMP) and passing of laws to set up the Office for Reparations.
The country's human rights record due to the PTA was under international focus which led to three UN rights body resolutions calling for accountability for alleged human rights abuses blamed both on the Tamil separatist group and the security forces.
EU expressed concern after Sri Lanka resumed death penalty
The human rights groups have long demanded the repealing of PTA as it gave troops sweeping powers to arrest and detain suspects indefinitely.
Currently, a parliamentary oversight committee is examining the proposed counter-terrorism act, the committee chief and parliamentarian Mayantha Dissanayake said.
The European Union also expressed concern after Sri Lanka resumed the death penalty.
EU reminded Lanka of its commitments for GSP+ trade scheme
EU has reminded Sri Lanka that its commitment to 27 conventions on human and labor rights, environment and good governance are the conditions to qualify for the EU's GSP+ preferential trade scheme.
Lanka had benefited by 2.2 billion euros worth of exports to the EU between June 2017 and May 2018 since the facility was restored to Sri Lanka after its suspension in 2010.
Application sought to recruit two hangmen: Lanka's department of prisons
Sri Lanka's department of prisons on Monday said that applications have been sought to recruit two hangmen, days after President Maithripala Sirisena vowed to end a 42-year moratorium on death penalty within two months. Sri Lanka hasn't executed a death row convict since June 1976.
UN called for international probe into war crimes in Lanka
The LTTE had launched a military-campaign for a separate Tamil homeland in the northern and eastern provinces of the island nation for nearly 30 years before its collapse in 2009 after the Sri Lankan Army killed its supreme leader Velupillai Prabhakaran.
The UN Human Rights Council has called for an international probe into the alleged war crimes during the military conflict with the LTTE.
Sri Lanka's civil war claimed at least 100,000 lives
According to the government figures, around 20,000 people are missing due to various conflicts including the 30-year-long separatist war, which claimed at least 100,000 lives. The civil war, an armed conflict, started on 23 July 1983 and ended on 18 May 2009.