Sri Lanka to end emergency laws

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[JURIST] The Sri Lankan government on Tuesday announced it would lift emergency laws that have been in place for 30 years, though Parliament [official website] would renew [text] some provisions temporarily. The emergency laws were established [Hindustan Times report] during the nearly 30-year civil war with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) [JURIST news archive]. Most clauses of the Public Security Ordinance, which permits suspects to be detained indefinitely and without charge, have already been abolished. Sri Lankan Prime Minister DM Jayaratne [official website] told Parliament that some clauses would remain necessary, even though the civil war ended in 2009.

The Sri Lankan emergency laws have been in a state of flux in recent years. Sri Lankan lawmakers voted in May 2010 to extend the state of emergency [JURIST report] for another month, but reduced some of the toughest provisions. Parliament lifted certain restrictions [BBC report] on assembly and distributing literature and reduced the power of soldiers to conduct searches. In March of the same year, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa [official website] announced [JURIST report] that the then-dissolved Sri Lankan Parliament would reconvene to ratify a one-month extension to the current state of emergency. Variations of the security measures have been reintroduced since 2005 when foreign minister Lakshman Kadirgamar was allegedly assassinated by LTTE rebels.

Read more detail on JURIST – Paper Chase

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