COLOMBO (AFP) – The Sri Lankan authorities shall be given sweeping powers to detain folks suspected of hate crimes for as much as two years, the federal government introduced on Saturday (March 13), for “deradicalisation” underneath controversial anti-terror legal guidelines.
The brand new laws enable the detention for twenty-four months of anybody suspected of inflicting “acts of violence or spiritual, racial or communal disharmony or emotions of sick will or hostility between totally different communities” at “re-integration centres”.
The principles, efficient on Friday, have been arrange underneath the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), which each native and worldwide rights teams have repeatedly requested Colombo to repeal. Sri Lanka’s earlier authorities, which was defeated at elections in 2019, had pledged to repeal the PTA after admitting that it was draconian and significantly undermined particular person freedoms, however failed to take action.
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who got here to energy with a promise to battle Islamic extremism, introduced the “deradicalisation from holding violent extremist spiritual ideology” measures in a gazette notification seen by AFP on Saturday.
The transfer comes forward of the second anniversary of the 2019 Easter Sunday attacks that killed 279 people and wounded over 500. The coordinated suicide bombings, in opposition to three church buildings and three high-end motels, had been blamed on a neighborhood Islamic extremist group.
However the brand new laws don’t solely goal Islamic extremism and will apply to any spiritual group or group.
A presidential fee that probed the assaults known as for the banning of each Islamic extremists in addition to ultra-nationalist Buddhist teams, which had been accused of feeding off one another.
Tensions between Sri Lanka’s minority Muslims and the bulk Buddhists resurfaced after the 2019 bombings, which additionally significantly broken the nation’s tourism-reliant economic system.