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News  


 

Despite revoking of Emergency Regulations

Terror suspects cannot go free – Susil Premajayantha

By Sriyan Obeyesekere and Arthur Wamanan
Terrorist suspects in detention, who were either arrested under the provision of the Emergency Regulations and the Prevention of Terrorism Act or had surrendered to the armed forces towards the final phase of the humanitarian operation conducted by the armed forces, will not be freed though the State of Emergency was revoked by President in Parliament last Thursday (25), authoritative sources said yesterday.

General Secretary of the UPFA, Minister of Petroleum and Petroleum Resources Susil Premajayantha, who is also a lawyer told The Nation that the provisions of the Prevention of Terrorism Act empowered the authorities in taking legal action against terrorist suspects.

“LTTE suspects now in detention cannot be dealt with under the provisions of the normal law. Those who were arrested as terrorist suspects or those who surrendered to the armed forces have to be dealt with under the Prevention of Terrorism Act,” said Susil.
He said all countries have special laws for dealing with terrorism and terrorist suspects and such suspects could be held under those specific legal provisions.

Meanwhile, the Secretary to the Ministry of Justice and Law Reforms, Suhada Gamlath said terrorist suspects arrested under the Emergency Laws could be prosecuted even under the normal law. The government would introduce a new law, Emergency Consequential Bill in Parliament, to empower the authorities to take legal action against those arrested terrorist suspects or those who had surrendered.

The proposed draft legislation is now before the Attorney General’s Department and the procedural action is being pursued. Attorney General Mohan de Silva is currently out of the country and was expected to return soon. It is learnt that he would take up the draft legislation Emergency Consequential Bill as soon as he returns.
Those terrorist suspects now in detention will not be automatically released though the emergency has lapsed as persons suspected of committing criminal offences including those committed by terrorists could be held in remand custody under the normal laws of the country also and their terms of detention could be extended with the permission of the courts of law.