In your editorial of 1st December you referred to the Prevention of Terrorism Act. That set me thinking with the question why it was proposed to our government and acceded to by us, to do away with the Prevention of Terrorism Act? Curiously, it is proposed by some of the main proponents of UN Resolution such as the US and UK and supported by India, while themselves having in their law, anti terrorist enactments such as the Patriots Law etc. in the US which are even more intrusive than our terrorism law, all intended to preserve their democracies and uphold the Human Rights of their people. On the other hand, countries like France who interceded with Sri Lanka government to have spared the Terrorists here, are now gearing themselves to go all guns blazing against ISIS Terrorism. In such circumstances why is it that they are insisting that Sri Lanka should do away with this law, while warning other countries of the possibility of Terrorism spilling over to other parts of the world too?
The former Government of Sri Lanka proscribed 16 Diaspora entities and 424 individuals under United Nations Security Resolution (UNSCR) 1373. UNSCR 1373 is implemented under UN Act No. 45 of 1968. Under terms of the text of this Resolution, the Council “decided that all States should prevent and suppress the financing of terrorism, as well as criminalize the willful provision or collection of funds for such acts. The funds, financial assets and economic resources of those who commit or attempt to commit terrorist acts or participate in or facilitate the commission of terrorist acts and of persons and entities acting on behalf of terrorists should also be frozen without delay”.
The Island editorial of Nov. 24, 2015 entitled ‘Power Play’ about Samantha Power’s Sri Lanka visit provided the cue for this article. Power (45), American Ambassador to the UN, and President Obama’s trusted advisor on American response to global genocide and human rights abuse issues, according to news reports, went back early that day local time after a brief visit to Sri Lanka. Her professional and political authority within the America-dominated UN establishment is beyond doubt. What is in question, however, as far as we Sri Lankans are concerned, is whether her visit is likely to help or hinder post-war normalization in our country. This is particularly so, given her controversial political and diplomatic track record. A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide, a book she authored in 2002, won several awards including the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize and the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-fiction the following year. She wrote this book (which came to be widely acclaimed within the Western bloc) while she was serving as a professor in human rights practices at Harvard university. It is claimed that Power was a key figure behind the meddlesome American role in Libya. She has been criticized for recommending ‘solutions from hell’ to ‘problems from hell’! (i.e. for advocating interventionist and militaristic responses to alleged genocide and human rights violation problems).