Sri Lankan government on Wednesday said it will introduce tough anti-terrorism laws to fight increasing threats from Tamil Tigers, despite pressure from hardliners to re-impose the ban on the rebels.
Provisions of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and the Emergency laws will come into effect shortly to stem ethnic violence which has resulted in the deaths of over 3,400 people and displaced hundreds of civilians in the last 12 months, government officials said.
The new laws will give the security forces and police wide powers of arrest and detention, but stopped short of banning the Tigers as demanded by nationalists.
The tough anti-terror laws had been effectively suspended following a February 2002 Norwegian-brokered truce with the rebels Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
Nationalist groups supporting President Mahinda Rajapaksa's People's Alliance government demanded the proscription of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) after the latest assassination attempt.
Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the president's brother, was the target of a Tiger suicide bomber in a daring attack on his convoy on November 27. He was unhurt but two soldiers died and 15 people were injured.