17th October 2018, Colombo, Sri Lanka: The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) and its Executive Director, Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, filed papers today intervening in the petition filed by Wimal Weerawansa MP challenging ‘The Counter Terrorism Bill’ (The Bill), tabled in Parliament on 9th of October 2018. The proposed Bill seeks to repeal and replace the archaic PTA which was initially enacted with the intention of being a temporary measure but was thereafter made permanent in 1982. CPA’s intervention in this case is a reiteration of its longstanding position that the PTA needs to be repealed and any counter terrorism measures introduced should be in line with international human rights standards.
In an initial statement made by CPA on the Bill, it was noted that though the proposed bill is an improvement from the existing PTA, it still had room for potential abuse. CPA thus, through this intervening petition, seeks to highlight that certain clauses are inconsistent with the Constitution.