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Only one MP votes against extension of law for detention of suspects without warrant

2015 Mar 21

By Saman Indrajith

Parliament yesterday passed laws to detain suspects for 48 hours without a warrant with a majority of 53 votes. A vote taken at the end of the debate on the Order under the Code of Criminal Procedure (Special Provisions) Act received 54 votes for and one vote against. Galle District MP Ajith Kumara of the Frontline Socialist Party voted against the new law, while those who were present from the government and opposition ranks voted for it.

The Order should be presented for the approval of the House every two years’ time. The House last time approved it on Jan 22, 2013.

Justice Minister Wijayadasa Rajapakshe participating in the debate said that the UNP too had opposed the law sometime back because it had no faith in the police under the previous regime. "We have no hopes of continuing this law by renewing it again after another two years. We are planning to appoint a committee to look into whether this law would be beneficial to the people. Thereafter we will take a decision on what is to be done when the law ceases its effect after another two years," he said.

Minister of Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs, D.M. Swaminathan: One of the main aims of our government is to ensure the independence of the judiciary, police and public service. We would also take care of the problem of delayed judicial procedure.

UPFA Kegalle District MP H.R. Mithrapala: We should not re-introduce the implementation of the capital punishment. People have no pleasant feelings about the police.

Minister of Food Security Gamini Jayawickrema Perera: We have no intention of promoting torture under police custody by extending the number of hours suspects can be detained for serious crimes.

Gampaha District UNP MP Ajith Mannapperuma: Maithree-Ranil Government is ready to punish the criminals irrespective of their positions. What we have today is a government following the policies of good governance. When Mahinda Rajapaksa lost his election we did not incarcerate him in jail, but gave him a chopper to go home.

At the end of the debate MP Ajith Kumara asked for a division by name.

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