Govt. laying groundwork to betray armed forces: Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa
Posted on June 17th, 2018

 Courtesy The Daily Mirror

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa today said the amendments proposed by the Government to the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act of 2002, were clearly aimed at assisting foreign courts in the trial of Sri Lankans for offences allegedly committed in Sri Lanka.

The Government has introduced in Parliament, a Bill to amend the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act, No. 25 of 2002. This is the latest betrayal by the yahapalana Government.

This country has had its share of traitors in its long history, but never anyone as committed and enthusiastic in their betrayal as the present Government,” he said in a statement.

Full Statement

MEDIA RELEASE

Laying the groundwork to betray Sri Lankan armed forces personnel to foreign powers

The government has introduced in Parliament, a Bill to amend the Mutual Assistance in CriminalMatters Act, No. 25 of 2002. The purpose of the original law was to facilitate cooperation between SriLanka and specified foreign countries in locating and identifying witnesses or suspects, the service ofdocuments on such persons, the examination of witnesses, the obtaining of evidence, execution ofrequests for search and seizure, temporarily transferring a person in custody to appear as a witness,facilitation of the personal appearance of witnesses, the location of the proceeds of any criminalactivity, and enforcing orders for the freezing of property etc. It applied only to specifiedCommonwealth countries and to other countries that had signed agreements with Sri Lanka to rendermutual assistance in criminal matters.
The Bill to amend Act No: 25 of 2002 will repeal and replace entire sections of the original Act andsubstantially change its character. The proposed amendment will widen the applicability of the Act toevery country that is a party to any international Convention that involves criminal matters. Though theoriginal Act applied only to states, the proposed amendment will make it applicable to internationalorganisations such as the International Criminal Court as well. It will also make documentary evidenceand evidence obtained through video conferencing from persons resident in foreign countriesadmissible in judicial proceedings. The administrative machinery to respond expeditiously to requestsfrom overseas is also to be expanded.
The proposed legislation complements two previous laws introduced by the present government – theOffice of Missing Persons Act and the Act relating to the International Convention on EnforcedDisappearances. The Office of Missing Persons is a tribunal which can examine witnesses, issuesummons and hold hearings. Its officers can enter without warrant at any time of day or night, any police station, prison or military installation and seize any document or object they require forinvestigations. Anyone who fails or refuses to cooperate with the OMP may be punished for contemptof court. Government bodies at all levels including the armed forces and intelligence services are mandatorily required to render fullest assistance to the OMP and the provisions of the Official SecretsAct will not apply to investigations carried out by this body.
The International Convention against Enforced Disappearances which has been incorporated into thelaw of Sri Lanka through Act No: 5 of 2018, confers jurisdiction over offences related to enforceddisappearances on all the signatories to the international Convention so that an offence committed inSri Lanka can be tried in a foreign country as if it was an offence committed in that country. UnderArticles 10, 11 and 13 of the international Convention Sri Lankans can be arrested in foreign countriesand either tried in the country that makes the arrest or handed over to the International Criminal Court.Under Sections 8 and 21 of Sri Lanka’s Act No: 5 of 2018, foreign states can request the extradition of persons suspected of having committed enforced disappearances in Sri Lanka to stand trial overseas.The Bill to amend the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act, No. 25 of 2002 complements Act No: 5 of 2018 because it would not be possible to prosecute Sri Lankans in foreign courts for offencesallegedly committed in Sri Lanka unless there was a mechanism to obtain evidence from SriLanka. The amendments proposed to the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act of 2002 are clearlyaimed at assisting foreign courts in the trial of Sri Lankans for offences allegedly committed in SriLanka. This is the latest betrayal by the yahapalana government. The manner in which this governmenthas been implementing the demands of their foreign patrons should also be taken note of by the public. In August 2016, the government forcibly passed the Office of Missing Persons Bill after givingParliament less than 40 minutes to debate it. The better part of that time was spent in arguing whetherthat that Bill should be taken up for debate at all because the government had pledged not to take it upon that day.
In March 2018, the government passed the Prevention of Enforced Disappearances Act No: 5 when theattention of the whole nation was focused on the Sinhala-Muslim riots that broke out in the Kandydistrict. They passed this law despite repeated requests from the Mahanayaka Theras and the KarakaSangha Sabhas of all three nikayas to jettison it. On May 18 this year, on the very anniversary of thevictory against the LTTE, the government gazetted the Bill to amend the Mutual Assistance in CriminalMatters Act of 2002 at a moment when the people were preoccupied with the floods that affected many parts of the country. This country has had its share of traitors in its long history, but never anyone ascommitted and enthusiastic in their betrayal as the present government.
 
 Mahinda Rajapaksa
 
 Former President of Sri Lanka
 

One Response to “Govt. laying groundwork to betray armed forces: Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa”

  1. Ananda-USA Says:

    Dawasey Pada 4

    Sura sapa soya yahapalana sanakeliyey

    Horu dun salli aragena pirisak joliyey

    Athuley dedeneki sirabath kathi thaliyey

    Jampara andiya yuthu maha pirisak eliyey!

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