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Sri Lanka to abolish emergency laws

world Updated: Aug 09, 2011 19:43 IST
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Sri Lankan government on Tuesday said it would soon lift the draconian emergency laws in force in the country for most of the past 30 years.

"Steps have already been taken to lift emergency regulations in consultation with the (National) Security Council," Prime Minister DM Jayaratne told the parliament.

Jayaratne said the proposals would be presented to the parliament shortly.

The tough emergency laws allow suspects to be detained indefinitely and without any charge.

The prime minister said since the end of the war against the LTTE in May 2009, most of the clauses in the Public Security Ordinance have been abolished.

However, a few of the clauses under the ordinance remained in force since the LTTE continues to be active overseas, he said.

The last phase of emergency laws were reintroduced and remained in force continually since 2005 after the assassination of foreign minister Lakshman Kadirgamar by suspected Tamil Tiger rebels.

The LTTE waged a bloody three-decade civil war for a separate state for the Tamils of Sri Lanka, alleging discrimination against the minority community at the hands of the majority Sinhalas.

But the Lankan military crushed the LTTE by killing its supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran in May 2009. The ethnic conflict left between 80,000 and 100,000 people dead.

Jayaratne said continuation of some clauses of the emergency laws were still necessary due to several of the LTTE connected organisation operating internationally.

"Although the LTTE are no more there are several international forces who are currently active to revive the LTTE", Jayaratne said.

He accused the UK based Global Tamil Forum, the Trans National Government of Tamil Eelam and the Tamil National Council of trying to revive the LTTE locally and internationally.

"They are making much efforts to discredit the government," he said, adding, "Even the groups who are trying to be the voice of the LTTE in South India have called for economic sanctions against us."