President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka, Saliya Peiris PC on Wednesday (31) said that the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) has been misused in the past.
Speaking at a seminar held at the Open University of Sri Lanka on Wednesday (31), the BASL President pointed out that terrorism has not been defined within the PTA, and without the definition of terrorism, the PTA can be very broadly and widely used.
The Act has defined that crimes made in the process of terrorism can be prosecuted, the BASL President said.
He further stated that several proposals in this regard were presented to then-Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris, which includes proposals to reduce the period of detention and administrative detention, as some countries allow suspects to be detained for maximum of 21 days.
The BASL President said that he recommended for the detention period to be reduced to three months, after which the suspects can be presented before Courts, and emphasized on narrowing the scope of terrorism within the Act, as otherwise, mistakes made in expressing dissent could also be misintrpreted.
“We know that there are cases in which media spokespersons or police media spokespersons make big justifications.” But when the accusation finally comes, the accusation is not based on what those media spokesmen said. So, under this situation, I think that the Prevention of Terrorism Act should be amended, “he added.