PTA unconstitutional, says TNA
TNA Parliamentarian M. A. Sumanthiran says it is time for President Ranil Wickremesinghe to fulfil his pledge to repeal the PTA (Prevention of Terrorism Act).Speaking to the media in Colombo M. A. Sumanthiran, PC said that the Prevention of Terrorism Act had been branded as an unconstitutional law even in Sri Lanka, and it was one of the reasons why the country had lost the GSP+ concessions.
“In 2017, then Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe travelled to Brussels and gave an undertaking that the PTA would be repealed and upon that promise GPS plus was reinstated for Sri Lanka,” said the MP adding that five years on the law still exists contrary to promises given to the UN and various International bodies and Sri Lanka that the PTA will not be used and that there was a moratorium on the PTA.
“Now this month they have restarted using the PTA and three detention orders were signed early this week by the Minister of Defence and President Ranil Wickremesinghe. Now it is being used not against who might actually be called a terrorist but against people who have participated in peaceful protests,” said the Parliamentarian while expressing his dismay on the use of the Prevention of Terrorism Act.
Commenting on the Sri Lankan Government’s latest move on replacing the PTA with the National Security Act, Sumanthiran said when draft legislation is prevented it would have to be considered if it is actually necessary or not.
“I’m saying this also because there was an attack in 2019 Easter Sunday. It is being presented as an international terrorist attack. We have great doubts about that as to who is really behind it,” he said
“There’s no terrorism in the country now. So our belief is that we don’t require anti-terrorism law. That is our position. When the government says we are going to bring a new act we can’t comment on that unless we see it,” the MP also noted.