Alleged HR Violations: PCoI Says Not to Repeal PTA
The Presidential Commission of Inquiry, appointed to appraise the findings of Previous Commissions and Committees on Human Rights and the Way Forward, in its interim report, states that it does not agree with requests to repeal the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA).
The PCoI interim report, which was handed over to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on 20 July, further states that the PTA should be reformed in line with the laws against the prevention of terrorism in other countries including in the UK.
The PCoI, which has paid special attention to the Provisions 9, 11 and 13 of the PTA, has made three key recommendations, in its interim report, with regard to the implementation of the PTA in a more democratic manner.
Furthermore, the PCoI highlighted the possibility to expedite the hearing of cases of those who are being detained for a minimum of three months or a longer period under the Provision Nine of the PTA by filing indictments against them and to confine the detainees to their own homes or the residential areas under special security instead of detaining them in prisons in line with the Provision 11 of the PTA.
It also proposes the importance of establishing an Advisory Board, consisting of not less than three persons, representing all ethnic groups, to advise the President or the Minister in charge of Defence under the Provision 13 of the PTA.
The President, in an Extraordinary Gazettes issued on 21 January and 12 February appointed members to the PCoI to investigate, inquire into and report or take necessary action on the findings of the preceding Commissions or Committees appointed to investigate human rights violations, serious violations of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and other such offences.
The PCoI is chaired by Supreme Court Judge A. H. M. D. Nawaz.The other members are retired Inspector General of Police Chandra Fernando, retired District Secretary Nimal Abeysiri and former Mayor of Jaffna Yogeswari Patkunarajah.