world

Sri Lanka to reform terror law to keep EU trade deal

The EU had warned Sri Lanka that its generalised system of preferences (GSP Plus) could be withdrawn if Colombo did not improve its rights record

Sri Lanka’s President vowed “immediate steps” to amend anti-terror legislation to retain a lucrative trade status with the European Union, his office said on Tuesday.

The EU had warned Sri Lanka that its generalised system of preferences (GSP Plus) — a favourable trade scheme to encourage developing nations to respect human rights—could be withdrawn if Colombo did not improve its rights record.

Gotabaya Rajapaksa told a visiting EU delegation on Monday that he had instructed the Justice Minister and the Attorney General to carry out urgent reforms to the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). The law allows police to arrest and detain suspects for long periods. Confessions extracted from suspects can be used against them, and many have been held for decades without charge.

“Immediate steps will be taken to amend the necessary provisions of the PTA,” Mr. Rajapaksa’s office quoted him as saying. “President Rajapaksa also stated that the country would abide by the agreements on human rights in the world today.”

Source: Read Full Article