It is reported that the Anti-Terrorism Act, which is to be brought by repealing the Prevention of Terrorism Act, will be presented to the Parliament next week. Sri Lanka Latest News
Justice Minister Wijedasa Rajapaksa has told the Sunday Times newspaper that the new Anti-Terrorism Act has been created taking into account the proposals brought by civil organizations and the international community.
Although a suspect arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Act can be detained for ninety days without being brought to court, this new Anti-Terrorism Act has limited that period to thirty days.
If the police want to detain a suspect for more than thirty days, they must obtain permission from a magistrate’s court.
Also, by the new Anti-Terrorism Act, the power to issue summons orders has been removed from the Minister of Defense. Instead, that power has been delegated to the Secretary of the Ministry of Defence. The Secretary to the Ministry of Defense issues detention orders on the instructions of the Inspector General of Police.
The Anti-Terrorism Act abolishes the power given to present a verbal statement given to the police by an arrested suspect as evidence against him.
It is also reported that the new Anti-Terrorism Act will define what terrorism is.
The Minister of Justice, who has said that terrorism does not have an internationally agreed common definition, has told the Sunday Times newspaper that terrorism has been defined in the Anti-Terrorism Act, taking into account the local situation.