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Sri Lanka military to get out of business

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s new government intends to remove the military from business activity, punish security forces personnel guilty of torture and other human rights abuses and repeal  a controversial anti-terrorism law, the foreign affair minister said.

The government will also sign and ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances without delay, Mangala Samaraweera told the opening of the 30th Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva Monday.

The government is committed to “disengagement of the military from commercial activities (and) undertake security sector reform,” he said.

Under the former Rajapaksa regime the military’s involvement in business expanded from a commercial domestic air transport operation to building and running hotels and salons, and whale watching tours.

The government will also “issue instructions clearly to all branches of the security forces that torture, rape, sexual violence and other human rights violations are prohibited and that those responsible will be investigated and punished.”

The Prevention of Terrorism Act is to be replaced with anti-terrorism legislation “in line with contemporary international best practices,” Samaraweera also said.

The government will also review the Public Security Ordinance Act and review the Victim and Witness Protection Act which was enacted this year, he said. (Colombo/September 15 2015)


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