Aug 31, 2011 (AFP) – Sri Lanka on Wednesday used draconian anti-terror laws to detain thousands of Tamil rebel suspects who would have had to be freed when a state of emergency ended after 28 years, an official said. Attorney General Mohan Peiris said President Mahinda Rajapakse invoked regulations under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) to ensure that the authorities continue to hold suspects detained under emergency laws.
Rajapakse last week said the state of emergency would end by midnight Tuesday, but the new regulations mean that detainees will not be freed.
“No suspects will be released and there is no change even though the emergency has been allowed to lapse,” Peiris told reporters.
His remarks came as Justice Minister Rauf Hakeem told state media that about 1,200 alleged Tamil Tiger rebels will soon be be released with the end of emergency rule, imposed 28 years ago to deal with the separatist movement.
Peiris said new regulations under the PTA will ensure that a ban imposed on the defeated Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and a front organisation will also continue indefinitely. Sri Lanka detains suspects despite end to emergency
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