The Government has decided to conditionally lift the ban imposed on five of 11 Islamic organisations in the aftermath of the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks on April 21, 2019.
The ban on the five organisations is being lifted in line with recommendations given by a committee comprised of experts from investigative and intelligence agencies after a probe lasting more than a year, and following talks between representatives of these groups and government authorities.
Accordingly, the ban on the following Islamic organisations will be lifted subject to strict conditions: Jamiyathul Ansaari Sunnathul Mohomadiya (JASM), Sri Lanka Thawheed Jamma’ath (SLTJ), All Ceylon Thawheed Jamma’ath (ACTJ), Ceylon Thawheed Jamma’ath (CTJ) and United Thawheed Jamma’ath (UTJ).
Former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa issued a gazette notification in April 2021 banning these five organisations along with six others under the Prevention of Terrorism Act.
A senior government official said that during talks with intelligence agencies, representatives of these organisations had given assurances that they would take responsibility for the actions of their members.
Nevertheless, the expert committee has recommended that even after the ban is lifted, authorities should keep a close watch on the activities of these organisations, their funding and education programmes. If there is any indication that they are engaged in activities that are detrimental to national security, the ban should be reimposed, the committee has stressed.
( Sunday Times/16.07.23)