The Delegation of the European Union to Sri Lanka (EU) has expressed concern about the recent use of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) in Sri Lanka.
The EU acknowledged the steps taken by Sri Lanka in March 2022 to reform the PTA.
The EU however, pointed out the need for further action in line with its commitments.
However, Sri Lanka has assured that the PTA has been invoked only in instances of extreme necessity.
The EU, further noting Sri Lanka’s update on the release of detainees under the PTA in 2021-2022 has encouraged the release of long-term detainees under the PTA who have not been charged.
Sri Lanka has expressed its strong commitment to preparing a comprehensive legislative proposal to replace the PTA in accordance with the Constitution, and in line with international norms and best practices, with a view to its finalization in 2023.
The EU also reaffirmed its commitment to support Sri Lanka’s efforts to successfully overcome the current unprecedented economic crisis, including the necessary reforms and social protection measures, which would mitigate the adverse impact of the crisis and lead the country towards sustainable growth and prosperity.
Sri Lanka and the EU reiterated the importance of social, economic, and political inclusion through justice and reconciliation in the advancement of human rights.
The discussion was held during a meeting of the EU and Sri Lanka at the Sixth Working Group on Governance, Rule of Law, and Human Rights held in Colombo.