Oct 16, Colombo: Parliamentarian Wimal Weerawansa has filed a petition in the Supreme Court requesting the court to declare the Counter-Terrorism bill presented to Parliament by the government in place of the Prevention of Terrorism Act is in violation of the constitution.
The Attorney General has been named as a respondent in the petition.
The petition filed by Wimal Weerawansa in the Supreme Court has stated that a number of clauses of the Counter-Terrorism Bill presented to Parliament by the government are in conflict with the country's constitution as well as the sovereignty of the country.
The petitioner points out that if the clauses were passed in the same form the Constitution would be violated.
Therefore, Wimal Weerawansa has appealed to the Supreme Court to declare that a two-thirds majority vote in parliament and a referendum are required to pass the Counter Terrorism Bill if the clauses that are in violation of the Constitution are to be included without regressive amendments.
After a several rounds of drafting and revisions to the text that lasted over two years, the Government's proposed counter-terrorism legislation to replace the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) was finally approved by the Cabinet of Ministers last month with plans to make the amendments needed during the committee stage of the debate in parliament.
The Counter Terrorism Bill presented to the parliament is a major improvement on the existing Prevention of Terrorism Act, Verité Research, an independent, interdisciplinary think tank in Sri Lanka said.