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Sri Lanka to introduce new anti-terrorism rules-report

[Reuters, Thursday, 1 September 2011 08:18 No Comment]

Sri Lanka plans to bring new anti-terrorism rules into force effective on Wednesday, local media reported, replacing tough wartime emergency powers lifted this month under heavy international pressure.

A nearly three-decade separatist conflict ended in 2009 with the defeat of Tamil separatists. But Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa only moved last week to end wartime emergency powers in force since the August 2005 assassination of foreign minister Lakshman Kadirgamar by the rebels.

However on Wednesday, Sri Lanka Attorney General Mohan Peiris was quoted as saying the government had introduced new regulations to become effective on Aug. 31, under the separate Prevention of Terrorism Act, which allows warrantless arrests and searches.

The Daily Mirror, a local English language newspaper, quoted Peiris saying the new regulations are needed to ensure a ban on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and heavily-armed high security zones remain in place.

"Also, we need these new regulations to deal with LTTE surrenders and detainees. There will not be any respite in this case, though the emergency lapses."

The army, which will help enforce some provisions of any new security rules, said it was awaiting orders on any changes to emergency powers.

A human rights lawyer said the move to have new regulations has sowed confusion.

[Full Coverage]

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