Sri Lanka to abolish emergency laws

"Steps have already been taken to lift emergency regulations in consultation with the (National) Security Council," Prime Minister D M Jayaratne told the parliament.

Jayaratne said the proposals would be presented to the parliament shortly.
The tough emergency laws allow suspects to be detained indefinitely and without any charge.

The prime minister said since the end of the war against the LTTE in May 2009, most of the clauses in the Public Security Ordinance have been abolished.

However, a few of the clauses under the ordinance remained in force since the LTTE continues to be active overseas, he said.

The last phase of emergency laws were reintroduced and remained in force continually since 2005 after the assassination of Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar by suspected Tamil Tiger rebels.

The LTTE waged a bloody three-decade civil war for a separate state for the Tamils of Sri Lanka, alleging discrimination against the minority community at the hands of the majority Sinhalas.

But the Lankan military crushed the LTTE by killing its supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran in May 2009. The ethnic conflict left between 80,000 and 100,000 people dead.

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