SL Parliament approves Terrorist Financing Suppression Bill

[TamilNet, Thursday, 07 July 2005, 11:11 GMT]
Sri Lanka's parliament Thursday adopted the Draft Bill to give effect to the Convention on the Suppression of Terrorist Financing with a majority of sixty votes, 81 parliamentarians including ruling party, United peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA), main opposition United national Party (UNP), National Unity Alliance (NUA), Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) and the four dissidents of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) voted for the bill. 21 parliamentarians including 20 Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MPs and one UNP MP Mr.T.Maheswaran voted against the bill. parliamentary sources said.

Parliamentarians of the SLMC and Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) were not present at that time voting.

Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister Mr.Lakshman Kadirgamar Thursday tabled in parliament the draft bill.

"All constitutions of Sri Lanka and other legislations enacted by the parliament have suppressed the self-determination right of the Tamil people," said Mr.Mavai Senathirajah, Jaffna district Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian participating in the debate. Earlier TNA parliamentary group decided to oppose the bill in parliament, sources said.

Mr.Mavai Senathirajah further said armed struggle started due to State sponsored terrorism by the government troops. Bombing schools and public building, killing innocent Tamil people, and forcibly dislocating people from their own houses and lands in the pretext of high security zones forced the LTTE to take up arms to safeguard the Tamil people from these atrocities, he said.

Mr.Mavai Senathirajah added that although the government says the bill has been brought against international terrorism, the bill is clearly aimed against the Tamil people in Sri Lanka

Former President Mr.J.R.Jayawardene told parliament that he was bringing the Prevention of Terrorism Act only to curb terrorist activities in the south. But later it was used against Tamil people to suppress their democratic rights. Tamils have separate sovereignty and self-determination right in Sri Lanka, Mr.Mavai Senathirajah pointed out.

No constitution of Sri Lanka will bind the Tamil people when they regain their lost legitimate political rights. Tamils are not prepared to accept Constitutions of Sri Lanka at any stage, Mr.Mavai Senathirajah said.

Sri Lanka naval rating who attempted to assault then Indian Prime Minister Mr.Rajiv Gandhi at a parade held in Colombo in 1987 was not punished by Sri Lankan court but was pardoned and released. Hence the Colombo government has no moral right to speak about terrorism, Mr.Mavai Senathirajah recalled.

Tamil nationalism in Sri Lanka cannot be suppressed. We will tell the international community about the State terrorism in Sri Lanka, he added.

Mr.R.Sampanthan, TNA parliamentary group leader said international terrorism is different and the liberation struggle of the race is different. The government of United States of America speaks of international terrorism because of Bin Laden terrorist activities in their country. What is the urgent need for Sri Lankan government to introduce a bill to give effect to the International Convention on the Suppression of Terrorist Financing in this island?

"LTTE has been fighting for the self determination right of the Tamil people in Sri Lanka. You cannot equate the international terrorism and the Tamil people's liberation struggle. Tamil people in Sri Lanka are subjected to political victimization. Constitutions of Sri Lanka have deprived the legitimate political rights of Tamil people by all means. LTTE has been fighting to ensure the self-determination rights of Tamil people according to the Convention of International Human Rights. This is not terrorism. You should read the Constitution of Quebec State in Canada," said Mr.Sampanthan.

At the commencement, Mr.Lakshman Kadirgamar said this draft bill is tabled in parliament according to the International Convention on the Suppression of Terrorist Financing of 9th December 1999. The Government of Sri Lanka became a signatory to the convention, which entered into force in respect of Sri Lanka on 10th April 2002. It has become necessary for the GOSL to make legislative provision to give effect to Sri Lanka's obligation, parliamentary sources said.

Mr.Mahinda Samarasinghe opened the debate on behalf of the opposition. He thanked Minister Mr.Kadirgamar for bringing the draft bill at appropriate time. Mr.Mahinda Samarasinghe appealed to Mr.Kadirgamar to ensure whether the Norwegian government is discharging its role as a facilitator impartially.

Mr.Bimal Ratnayake, JVP parliamentarian said he was supporting the draft bill.


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