Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP M. A. Sumanthiran has urged President Ranil Wickremesinghe to withdraw the Bureau of Rehabilitation Bill, similar to the Gazette declaring High-Security Zones in Colombo.
The President revoked the Gazette that was issued this month declaring several areas, including the President’s Office and Parliament as High- Security Zones.
Commending the President’s decision, MP Sumanthiran said the President has taken immediate corrective action after being informed that such demarcation was altogether illegal.
The TNA MP further called for the withdrawal of the Bureau of Rehabilitation Bill, stating that it blatantly violates the fundamental principle that one is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
On Friday, Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) MP S. M. Marikkar filed a Fundamental Rights application with the Supreme Court seeking an order against the bill entitled Bureau of Rehabilitation.
In his petition, the MP sought a ruling that notes that the bill is in violation of the Constitution of Sri Lanka.
Several civil and political activists have pointed out that the bill paves the way for a crackdown on anti-government protesters, while it will also allow anti-government activists to be detained for a long period at Rehabilitation Camps.
Justice Minister Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe presented the Bureau of Rehabilitation Bill in Parliament on the 23rd of September.
The bill notes that the objective of the Bureau shall be to rehabilitate drug-dependent persons, ex-and misguided combatants, members of violent extremist groups, and any other group of persons who require treatments and rehabilitation by adopting various therapies in order to ensure effective reintegration and reconciliation, through developing socio-economic standards.
It also noted that the administration, management, and control of the affairs of the Bureau shall be vested in a Governing Council.
The Council shall consist of the Secretary or an Additional Secretary of Defence, Health, Education, and Rehabilitation, while it shall also consist of the Inspector General of Police or Deputy Inspector General of Police, and a representative of the National Dangerous Drugs Control Board.