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 2005

Withdraw 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 this fear.

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.


Related Articles:
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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

 

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