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Sri Lanka debates over counter terrorism bill

President Sirisena has made it clear that he does not support the bill which is pending in parliament. However, Prime Minister Wickremsinghe said steps have been taken to introduce the counter terrorism bill since the existing laws are not sufficient to defeat the global terrorism that the country has been subjected to now.

During a debate in parliament on Wednewsday, Sri Lankan President sought to dispel the myths surrounding it saying the draft bill will not violate fundamental rights and it will not provide concessions to terrorists.

President Sirisena called for the need to set aside the narrow political ideologies and unite to strengthen the legal framework to deal with global terrorism.

The Prime Minister said if anyone has problems with some clauses, they will discuss and make amendments but the second and third clauses should be inserted into this law.

President Sirisena also said that he prefers the existing Prevention of terrorist Act to continue. He said separate legal provisions will be introduced to deal with situation after Easter attacks.

The counter-terrorism bill has been pending in parliament for several months.

President party and opposition led by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa have alleged that the bill takes away civil rights and is draconian. 

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