The Sunday Leader

Repealing PTA Will Not Guarantee Freedom

by Waruni Karunarathne

Repealing the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) will not ensure the release of those who have already being charged or are being prosecuted under the PTA.

In an interview with The Sunday Leader, Minister of Law and Order Tilak Marapana said that even if the PTA is repealed, the repeal will not apply to those who are already convicted and are being prosecuted under that law before the time of the repeal. “The Interpretation Ordinance will cover such a situation and under the interpretation ordinance where a law is repealed any prosecution that has been commenced under that repealed law prior to that will continue as if the law has not been repealed,” he explained. According to the minister, thus the cases of people who are being prosecuted under the repealed law will proceed as if the law was not repealed. However, he added that one cannot use the PTA to arrest people or detain people from the day the PTA is repealed. He reiterated that the repeal will not apply to those who are already convicted under that law before the time of the repeal. However, according to Minister Marapana, to his knowledge, they have not had any discussions about repealing the PTA as yet.

The UN resolution has called for repealing the PTA and the Tamils were expectant that the repeal would enable the release of the ‘Tamil political prisoners’ who have been arrested and who have been convicted under the PTA.

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