Sri Lanka Under The Spotlight In New EU Resolution
Posted 11,June

By Chaveendra Dunuwille

In Local News

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3 resolutions relating to Humans Rights was recently adopted by the European  Union which addressed the issues relating to the Spanish/Morocco Border,  Russia and Sri Lanka.  

The resolution addressing Sri Lanka called for the fulfilment of the pledge to  review and repeal the highly controversial Prevention of Terrorism Act of 1978  and replace it with anti- terrorism legislation more in line with international  standards.  

The Act enacted as a temporary law in 1979 as during the tenure of President  J.R. Jayawardene which was made a permanent fixture in the law in 1982 was  the result of boiling tensions between the Sinhalese majority and the Tamil  minority which would ultimately spark the decades long civil war which ended  in 2009. The Act provides the police with a broad range of discretionary powers  with the ability search, detain and arrest suspects. Many assumed that the act  would be repealed following the conclusion of the war but it remained a  permanent part of the law and was called into action once again with the 2019  Easter Sunday bombings. 

The EU Parliament raised its concerns on Sri Lanka’s commitment towards  Human Rights as the most recent UN Reports showed an alarming slide towards  the recurrence of grave HR violations, the EU also pointed out that the existence of the PTA has led to consistent and well founded cases of torture, sexual abuse  and forced confessions.  

In the resolution which gained 628 votes for 15 against and 40 abstentions the parliament also referred to the careful consideration of the removing of the GSP+  benefit to Sri Lanka and assess whether there is sufficient reason to consider an  option generally used as a last resort.