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News


Sensitive military news to be restricted
Patriot Bill in House soon

The government is to present a Patriot Bill to Parliament shortly that would among other things restrict the media from publishing sensitive military information pertaining to troop movements, locations and arms purchases.
The bill shaped in the lines of the US Patriot Act had been initially drafted by a leading criminal lawyer in the country. The lawyer had submitted the initial draft to President Mahinda Rajapaksa recently. It would be further vetted before presented top parliament, government sources said.
After handing over the initial draft the lawyer had told the President although the media should be restricted from publishing sensitive military information that would affect national security, the press should not be gagged from publishing information on corruption in weapons purchases.
The Bill which is quite similar to the Prevention of Terrorism Act will also provide for the detention of suspects up to seven days when arrested under these laws. It also includes provisions for wiretapping and intercepting telephone calls, checking cellular phone bills and numbers and checking emails without a court order.
It is learnt that some of the parties allied with the government had urged the President to bring in provisions to tackle the situation with the escallation of clashes in the North-East. The earlier Prevention of Terrorism Act was made dysfunctional after the signing of the ceasefire agreement.