Sri Lanka is to remove controversial emergency laws by the end of this year, Xinhua news agency reported quoting a minister as saying Thursday.Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that several clauses of the emergency laws have already been removed.
“President Mahinda Rajapaksa does not want the emergency laws. We have already removed several clauses and my expectation is that by the end of this year, the laws will be removed completely,” Rambukwella told a weekly media conference.
Last year, Sri Lanka relaxed some of the emergency laws which had given the government wide powers to arrest and detain people without any charges.
The regulations have been used by successive Sri Lankan governments since 1971 aiming to curb unrest in the island nation.
The current emergency laws were enacted in August 2005 after Sri Lanka’s then foreign minister was allegedly killed by Tamil Tiger rebels.
Western nations have been calling on the Sri Lankan government to completely remove the controversial laws but the government said the regulations were essential to fight the Tamil Tiger rebels.
Sri Lanka defeated the Tamil Tiger rebels in May 2009 but continues to face allegations of human rights violations during and after the war.