(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – Minister of Justice, Prisons Affairs and Constitutional Reforms Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe says the purpose of the government bringing in the Anti-Terrorism Bill is to protect the common people of this country.
The Minister made this remark during a meeting between the Minister and the U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Julie Chung that took place at the Ministry of Justice this morning (20).
The Minister of Justice briefed the Ambassador about the new Anti-Terrorism Bill to be submitted to the Parliament and the economic progress achieved by Sri Lanka so far.
The Ambassador has discussed her government’s concerns with aspects of the Anti-Terrorism Bill that fall outside of international standards, and shared strong desire to see extensive public and parliamentary discussions on the bill.
The Ambassador has pointed out that it is important that all voices – including civil society, academia, and lawmakers – are considered to ensure the legislation serves as an effective tool for combatting terrorism without restricting freedom of expression or assembly.
The Minister of Justice explained to the Ambassador that the government’s objective in bringing the Anti-Terrorism Bill to replace the existing Prevention of Terrorism Act was to secure the safety of the common people of the country, and that the chances of violating human rights have been minimized by the new Anti-Terrorism Bill.
Appreciating the measures taken by the current government for the safety of the people and the upliftment of the economic situation, the U.S. ambassador has expressed her contentment that Sri Lanka has managed to recover from the economic crisis in such a short period of time when considering the other countries of the world that have faced similar economic crises.
Meanwhile, a meeting between Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe and South African High Commissioner to Sri Lanka S.E. Schalk was also held at the Ministry of Justice this morning.
The discussion focused on the establishment of a Reconciliation Commission in Sri Lanka to improve national reconciliation and the visit made by the delegation including the Minister of Justice to gain experience of South Africa for the establishment of the said commission.
The High Commissioner stated that the South African government is committed to providing the necessary support for the peace and reconciliation process as well as economic stability in Sri Lanka.