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Sri Lanka Task Force: Youth Targeted by Prevention of Terrorism Act

As of late, the Sri Lankan government has been amplifying the Prevention of Terrorism Act, which are the de-radicalization regulations. Tamils and Muslims are among minorities mostly affected. Recently, police have been arresting anyone they deem to be connected to terrorism. On April 9th, five Tamil youth were arrested with accusations of connections to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

The Prevention of Terrorism Act allows people to be arrested on suspicion by way of words, intentions, visible representations, acts of violence, “or religious, racial, or communal disharmony or feelings of ill will or hostility between different communities or racial or religious groups.” Detainees can be held without seeing the magistrate for up to 18 months under this Act. Under rehabilitation, which is undefined, the Attorney General would oversee detainees for a minimum year-long program. Rehabilitation’s maximum period is two years and can combine with PTA’s 18 months of detainment, adding a maximum of three and a half years of total imprisonment under the Act.

De-radicalization is also undefined and left to be open to interpretation, leaving both mental and physical abuse such as torture and brainwashing available for guards to inflict.

The Sri Lankan government will also be pushing for new censorship laws that will cut out both “fake news,” and any published material that aims to discredit the government.

Along with rehabilitation and de-radicalization, 11 Islamic organizations and several Tamil diaspora organizations have been banned along with the detainment of several activists. One of the Islamic groups, “Save the Pearls,” is a charity organization which seeks to support the education of underprivileged children.

What can you do?

Keep up to date on both the Prevention of Terrorism Act, and “One Country, One Law,” as these are helping the government enforce discriminative policies against minorities in Sri Lanka. Read and share at least two of the articles below.


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