TELO, TULF vote against draconian law
[TamilNet, Thursday, 14 September 2000, 16:51 GMT]
The emergency regulations promulgated by the Sri Lankan President were passed in Parliament Thursday by a majority of ninety six votes. The Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation, the Sri Lanka Progressive Front and the Tamil United Liberation Front together cast five votes against the emergency. Members of the pro-government armed Tamil group, the Eelam People's Democratic Party (EPDP) voted for the draconian regulations that enable the government to gag the media and give sweeping powers to the Sri Lankan security forces to arrest and detain and to bypass normal procedures in law relating to inquest and investigation into deaths in custody or caused by their actions.
The emergency regulations promulgated under the Public Security Ordinance, according to the Sri Lankan constitution, have the "legal effect of overriding, amending or suspending the operation of the provisions of any law except the provisions of the constitution".
MPs of the United National Party, the Democratic People's Liberation Front and the five members of the CWC who joined the opposition recently abstained from the voting.
The Deputy Minister for Defence spoke on the need for the emergency regulations.
The Amnesty International, in a special report published in July this year on the erosion of human rights in Sri Lanka due to the new emergency regulations said "Since the introduction of the new emergency regulations, there has been an increase in the number of reports of torture. It expressed concern that "the wider powers given to the security forces may be resulting in an increase in torture, disappearances and deaths in custody".
The EPDP and the CWC consistently vote for the emergency regulations, despite criticism by opponents that the two parties should be held responsible for the many travails of Tamils under these draconian measures.
Amnesty International: July 2000
Sri Lanka: New Emergency Regulations - erosion of human rights protection