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TNA concerned about draft counter-terrorism bill

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has expressed concern about draft counter-terror legislation, which is intended to replace the widely criticised Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). 

A proposal by the minister of foreign affairs, Tilak Marapana to gazette the Counter-Terrorism Bill was approved by the Cabinet on September 11. 

“There were several drafts in this regard and in the context of the particular Parliamentary Oversight Committee, we raised concerns regarding a majority of matters. We were told that the issues were addressed. We have yet to see the draft presented to the Cabinet," the TNA spokesperson and MP, M A Sumanthiran told Ceylon Today. 

"But, based on deliberations of the Cabinet meeting concerning the matter as reported in the news, we have concerns, even though we don’t know how far the news reports are true. Therefore, we are concerned and will be compelled to oppose the Bill tooth and nail until it is in accordance with international best practices in this regard.”   

The paper reported that Sumanthiran had expressed concern that the bill would made confessions made by detainees held under the PTA admissable, and that the administration of the Act would come under the purview of the Ministry of Defence. 

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