In the face of criticism against the new Anti-Terrorism Bill, Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said the government would not bring about any fundamental changes to the current version.
The bill, already announced in the gazette notification, is to be presented in Parliament for debate and enactment. This is to be enacted by repealing the Prevention of Terrorism Act, which was invoked mainly in dealing with LTTE terrorism.
After the war was over, the government came under pressure from sections of the international community, including the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to repeal the PTA to be replaced with a new law that conforms to international standards in countering terrorism.
The parties such as the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) have already raised objections to the provisions of the new bill. However, Minister Rajapakshe said the bill was worked after studying counter-terrorism laws of the countries such as the United States, India, the United Kingdom and Germany.
“They are even more rigorous than ours. Therefore, we won’t make any major change to the current version. There may be minor changes,” he said.(Kelum Bandara)