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Lanka to scrap draconian emergency law

world Updated: May 03, 2010 19:16 IST

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The government is expected to scale down the prevailing state of emergency that provided sweeping powers to security forces during Sri Lanka's three-decades long ethnic conflict with Tamil Tigers, a top minister said today.

"Since the ground situation has changed in the country today after the defeat of LTTE last year, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has no intention of maintaining the Emergency Regulation a moment longer than necessary," Minister of External Affairs Prof. G L Peiris said.

Peiris said the prevailing situation in the country is favorable for the revision of many clauses of the Emergency Regulation Act.

He said it was not sensible enough to take the same decision an year ago since the situation was different at that time.

"The scaling down is not due to any international pressure and the motivation of the Mahinda Rajapaksa's government at all-time is the well being of Sri Lanka," Peiris said.

The relevant motion will be presented in the Parliament by the Prime Minister tomorrow and a two-day debate will follow, he said.

The emergency was imposed in August 2005 after the assassination of former Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar by the LTTE.

International and local human rights watchdogs have flayed the government for continuing with the emergency regulations first imposed in 1983 to combat the LTTE, who were finally defeated in May last year.