NE Human Rights Secretariat calls for withdrawal of ER and PTA
[TamilNet, Monday, 22 August 2005, 11:03 GMT]
North East Secretariat on Human Rights, in a press release issued on Monday called upon the international community to excercise pressure on Colombo to withdraw the Emergency Regulation (ER) which was recently reimposed in Sri Lanka. Also noting that the existing Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) itself is a serious human rights violation, the secretariat said that the two pieces of legislation in force together will lead to a repeat of the large scale human rights violations. Since July 1st, more than 3000 arrests have been reported in the South, according to the press release. It also noted that the increased military presence in Trincomalee is continuing in spite of protest by the Tamils.
Full text of the press release issued by NESOHR on Monday follows:
NESOHR Press Release
22 August 2005Withdraw the Emergency Regulation (ER) and the
Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA)
Reintroduction of the Emergency Regulation in
parliament this month is reminding the Tamils of
the past large scale human violations against
them that went on for two decades unnoticed by
the world. This is causing fear among the Tamils
in Sri Lanka. Events of recent times are fuelling
The increased military presence in Trincomalee
continues in spite of protest by Tamils. More
recently masked people riding motorbikes have
reappeared in Trincomalee. In Colombo house to
house search in Tamil homes have begun. Tamil
youths are being arrested again in Colombo for
trivial reasons like failing to carry their
identity card. More than 3000 arrests have been
made in Mathale since July 1st.
PTA (Act No:48 of 1979 ) has continued to be in
force even through the three and a half years of
ceasefire period. This PTA is itself a serious
human rights violation. In the past ER and PTA
together has facilitated large scale human rights
violations by the military, paramilitary and
unauthorised agents. The government carried out
murders, kidnaps, and arrests by unidentified
persons using these two regulations.
The reintroduction of ER, which was allowed to
lapse due to lack of votes after it has been in
force for more than 25 years, has therefore paved
way for the re-enactment of this cruel past.
Government is planning to hunt and destroy
intellectuals, journalists and well wishers among
Tamils through these two regulations. This is
what the government did in the past.
We call upon the international community
including the international human rights
community to put pressure on the Sri Lankan
government to withdraw the ER and the PTA
immediately. We fear that these two pieces of
legislation in force together will lead to a
repeat of the large scale human rights violations
against Tamil people.
20.08.05 Emergency raises spectre of past disappearances - Adaikalana..
18.08.05 SL parliament approves State of Emergency
13.08.05 Rights group questions Colombo's bonafides in imposing ER
21.06.05 Amnesty condemns rights violations by GoSL, LTTE
21.02.05 ER can arbitrarily deny Personal Liberty, Rights- NESOHR
11.02.05 Emergency is prelude to war - Vanni MP