Sunday, 9 April 2023


09 April 2023

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam




The hot topic of discussion amongst the legal intellectuals in Sri Lanka  is the proposed Anti-Terrorism Act by the current Sri Lankan Government. Reading the opinions, a domestic  experience comes to mind. Our granddaughter said to her younger sister who said that she did not need to be tutored by my husband – ‘but they want to do it!’


Given that I have not felt the fear of being terrorised, I do not feel the need for such a law. Dr Jayampathy Wickramaratne, states in his Island article headed ‘The Proposed Anti-Terrorism Act Part I: Treating protests as terrorism’


‘The UN Secretary-General, reporting to the General Assembly on the implementation of the UN Global Counterterrorism Strategy on 02 February 2023, warned against using vague and overly broad definitions of terrorism and related offences in domestic legislation as they would often result in heavy-handed implementation, leading to ineffective and counterproductive counterterrorism responses.

One who felt terrorised, would make laws that would prevent Terrorism in that environment. Such a law would be based on true need. But the person who had the experience, often is not proficient in the language of the law. Hence the need for legal experts. The higher the measure used, the wider the coverage. The deeper the experience, the stronger the belief that we need the law.  Belief based laws would work naturally to protect the believers.

In its DFAT COUNTRY INFORMATION REPORT SRI LANKA, dated 23 December 2021,  the Australian Government confirms as follows:


‘4.18 DFAT assesses that Sri Lankans face a low risk of torture overall. DFAT also assesses that Sri Lankans detained by the authorities face a moderate risk of torture. This is especially the case for the poor and criminal elements, and for those who challenge or are perceived to challenge the Government.’


As per my knowledge, the Australian government has never listed the LTTE as a proscribed organisation. But other Western nations that actively participate in global governance, have. Hence one needs to ask oneself, whether the proposed laws are towards assuring the international community that invests in Sri Lanka, that Sri Lanka is taking enough measures to prevent violence, through fear of punishment.


I doubt that the current President would fear that he would be terrorised in Sri Lanka. But it is his duty as the architect of the IMF solution to do all he can, to assure the global community that the government has taken adequate steps to prevent another attack similar to Easter Bombings 2019, which had global causal influences and effects. If we are to earn global confidence, this measure is necessary.

The Sri Lankan legal pundits lack global experience to identify with this need.  To them, much of it is to get status through display of book knowledge .

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