news to be restricted
Patriot Bill in House soon
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
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.