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TNA-led anti-PTA campaign ends next week

28 Sep 2022

  • To conclude in Hambantota on 5 October
BY Dinitha Rathnayake The signature campaign initiated by the Justice For All Association against the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act, No. 48 of 1979 (PTA), which is considered draconian and oppressive to the people, is to be continued until 5 October. Speaking to The Morning, Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK) MP Shanakiyan Rasamanickam said that Association Convenor, ITAK MP, and Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Spokesman M.A. Sumanthiran PC and the ITAK youth front are the chief parties organising the islandwide mobile signature campaign. “The campaign reached Akurana, Kandy, Dambulla, Matale, and Polonnaruwa after it was launched in Kankesanthurai, Jaffna, and will travel across the country before it ends in Hambantota on 5 October,” he said.  The campaign reached Rikillagaskada and Nuwara Eliya, where the Ceylon Workers’ Congress Secretary General also signed the petition. Rasamanickam also said that this is the first time that the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP)-led National People’s Power (NPP) and the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) took part in organising the mobile campaign, adding that they also had the support of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP). The campaign started in Colombo at the Galle Face Green. Meanwhile, speaking during the mobile campaign yesterday (27) in Matale, Sumanthiran stated that the PTA, which was introduced in 1979 under the premise that it would only be operational for six months, has however been used for more than 43 years as of now. “This was used against Tamil and Sinhala youth during 1988-1989, then during the Easter Sunday terror attacks against the Muslim community, and now against the people who took part in the ‘aragalaya’ (struggle). In 2017, President Ranil Wickremesinghe promised the EU that the PTA would be repealed, and also promised the same in Parliament.” The mobile signature campaign will move through all 25 districts, and is aimed to be used against the Government when it comes to human rights-related activities. “In the past months, Wickremesinghe unleashed repression against trade unionists and Left wing activists. Now, the regime has escalated its repression, using the notorious PTA to detain activists for long periods without trial.”

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