Attempt to mislead President Sirisena on Disappearances Bill
Posted on September 20th, 2017

by C.A. Chandraprema Courtesy The Island

It is not the policy of this newspaper to comment on articles published by other newspapers or websites. However given the importance of the ‘Bill to introduce into local law the provisions of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced isappearance’, and the campaign of misinformation surrounding this proposed piece of legislation, an exception will be made in this instance. In an article posted on D.B.S.Jeyaraj’s blog titled “Extradition Clause in Enforced Disappearances Bill is Identical to Section 7(2) of Torture Act Passed in 1994”, its author one Gehan Gunatilleke has argued that Clause 8 of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance Bill is identical to Section 7(2) of the Convention Against Torture and other Cruel Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment Act, No. 22 of 1994. The two passages have been quoted as follows by the author of the said article.

article_image
President Sirisena

Clause 8 of the Disappearances Bill: “Where a request is made to the Government of Sri Lanka, by or on behalf of the Government of a Convention State for the extradition of any person accused or convicted of an offence under sections 3 or 4, the Minister shall, on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka, forthwith notify the Government of the requesting State of the measures which the Government of Sri Lanka has taken, or proposes to take, for the prosecution or extradition of that person for that offence”.

Section 7(2) of the Convention Against Torture Act of 1994: “Where a request is made to the Government of Sri Lanka, by or on behalf of the Government of any State for the extradition of any person accused or convicted of the offence of torture, the Minister in charge of the subject of Foreign Affairs shall, on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka, forthwith inform the Government of the requesting State, of the measures which the Government of Sri Lanka has taken, or proposes to take, for the prosecution or extradition of that person, for that offence”.

On this basis, the author of this article who is not known to this writer, but is said to be advising the yahapalana government, has stated as follows: “The President should be informed that there is absolutely nothing to worry about in this clause. It is a standard clause, and we have had the identical clause in a very similar statute for over 20 years!” We view this as an attempt to mislead the President of the country by conveying the wrong information to him.

Clause 8 of the Bill to introduce into Sri Lankan law, the provisions of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance refers to Sri Lankans whose extradition has been requested by foreign countries on the grounds that they were responsible for causing enforced disappearances in Sri Lanka. No such thing is possible under Act No: 22 of 1994 which was passed to introduce into local law the provisions of the International Convention Against Torture. Under the 1994 Act, any Sri Lankan who is alleged to have committed torture can be tried only in Sri Lanka and there is certainly no provision to extradite Sri Lankans suspected of committing torture in Sri Lanka to stand trial in other countries for crimes allegedly committed in Sri Lanka.

Section 7(2) of the Convention Against Torture Act of 1994 refers to foreign nationals wanted in their own countries over allegations of torture, who may happen to be in Sri Lanka. In such cases, when a request is made for the extradition of that foreign individual, Sri Lanka will be obliged to comply. However Clause 8 of the proposed Bill to introduce into Sri Lankan law, the provisions of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance is designed to extradite Sri Lankans who are deemed by foreign nations to be responsible for causing enforced disappearances in Sri Lanka to stand trial overseas.

There is a vast difference between the two and the President should be made aware of this attempt to convey wrong information to him.

4 Responses to “Attempt to mislead President Sirisena on Disappearances Bill”

  1. Kumari Says:

    Mr Chandraprema, there is nothing to mis-lead this Rookadaya. A gloveless handshake with an old English woman, a few photo ops with White skinned (though Obama was brown) westerners does the trick for this spineless traitor.

    I feel sad for ourselves for the inability to get 76 votes against the Rookada government. First time in the history the official opposition is voting with the government. JVP talks bad of the Yahapalanaya to the voters but in the chamber use their vote to keep the very same people in power.

  2. Dilrook Says:

    I’m afraid I can’t buy that. Sirisena is fully aware of it and he understands very well why he is the president. He is behind all mechanizations of this government.

  3. Ratanapala Says:

    I have doubts whether even President Sirisena understood the provisions of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances agreement as his knowledge of English is limited. This is the sorry state of affairs in Sri Lanka. Apparently, this document is yet to be translated into Sinhala!

    This President will sign anything put in front of him by the UNP to safeguard his heaven-sent chance of being the President of the Sorry State of Sri Lanka!

    For that matter, the majority of the Sinhala MPs not being highly literate, are not qualified to understand neither English nor Sinhalese.

    THIS IS THE SORRY STATE OF AFFAIRS IN SRI LANKA.

  4. NAK Says:

    The way the 20A was passed with 2/3 majority it will not take too long for the diaspora to buy the parliament altogether and get anything they want passed.
    Hows that for a change?

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

 

 


Copyright © 2017 LankaWeb.com. All Rights Reserved. Powered by Wordpress