President Ranil Wickremesinghe is failing in all his attempts to retain power with the backing of the Rajapaksas as finally the people in the north have united with their brethren in the south in the campaign for repealing the draconian law PTA, Parliamentarian M. A. Sumanthiran said.
MP Sumanthiran who was amongst a number of opposition politicians and civil society activists who attended the event to submit signatures to a mobile campaign in Galle Face said today that it is a tremendous victory the people have achieved against the corrupt rulers.
“The draconian law of Prevention of Terrorism Act was introduced in 1979 as a temporary provisions act for six months but it continued to remain throughout four decades enabling the reigning governments to use it against dissent.
It is a victory as this struggle started in the North by its oppressed people way before during the war-torn times have managed to unite with the people in the south as the current rulers are using it to silence civil activists in Galle Face Aragalaya, who are fighting for a better political system,” he said.
Human rights lawyer Hejaaz Hizbullah, who had been detained under the PTA for more than even 90 days said that he had witnessed how suspects detained along with him were treated with cruelty and interrogation involving torture.
“It is high time that people gathered against this inhumane law, which had always been used to silence those who would criticize the government,” he said.
A countrywide signature campaign was launched by Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK) Youth Front along with Justice for All from Kankesanthurai from September 10 reached Colombo this afternoon, where the signatures were collected from the public and other interested parties at the Galle Face Green.
The campaign, which is scheduled to go further down south to Hambantota is expected to collect more than one million signatures out of which about 500,000 has been received thus far, an organiser said.
Parliamentarians Eran Wickramaratne, Mujibur Rahuman, Hirunika Premachandra, Shanakiyan Rasamanickam, Rauff Hakeem, Tissa Attanayake with social activists Pubudu Jagoda, Dharmasiri Lankapeli and Joseph Stalin together with artistes were present.
The first signature was placed by former defence secretary Austin Fernando. (Daily Mirror)