Controversial Anti-Terrorism Bill Will Return To Parliament Next Month: Minister Says Concerned Parties Can Go To SC

Justice Minister Dr. Wijayadasa Rajapaksa announced that the Anti-Terrorism Bill will be presented to Parliament in late April or early May, during a discussion held yesterday (06) at the Ministry of Justice Auditorium with representatives from civil organizations and transport trade unions.

The minister explained that the submission of the bill was postponed to allow opposing parties to approach the Supreme Court after it was submitted to Parliament, in response to requests from political party representatives, lawyers' associations, and opposition civil organizations.

Accordingly, the minister noted that the bill will be introduced to Parliament in the last week of April or the first week of May, and those who oppose it may challenge it in court, with the Supreme Court's decision determining its fate. He added that the bill's drafting began in 2015, and that the new draft does not seek to protect the President or the government.

The minister also indicated that the draft bill has been reviewed, and international laws have been considered to ensure the protection of citizens' lives and property. The bill also removes the abuses in the existing legislation by granting the power to issue detention orders to law enforcement agencies rather than the President, as currently specified in the Act.