Another Step

Aug 25, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka will end nearly three decades of emergency rule, President Mahinda Rajapaksa told the island’s parliament, which has to renew the law every month to give extensive arrest and detention powers to authorities over citizens. President Mahinda Rajapaksa in a special address to parliament said lawmakers would not have to renew the law, which was last passed on August 09 for one month.

The law was used largely to combat Tamil Tiger separatists, but it has also been used against an uprising by the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna.

The law briefly lifted during a ‘peace agreement’ with a representative who claimed to be from the JVP during its second uprising in the late 1980s. Emergency rule was then re-imposed and the uprising crushed.

The Rajapaksa administration crushed Tamil Tigers in May 2009.

Sri Lanka also has another law, the Prevention of Terrorism Act, which gives extensive powers to law enforcement authorities over citizens.