Human Rights Commission calls for review of Public Security Ordinance

Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka2The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka has called for the review of the Public Security Ordinance for purposes of reforming the legislative regime applicable to public security.

The Commission has said this in a submission made to the Sub-Committee on Law and Order.

The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka is of the belief the main purpose of a public security regime is to protect the people, and hence must be crafted in a manner that serves the best interests of the people.

In this regard, the Commissions has brought to the Sub-Committee’s attention the principles governing national security set out in Article 198 of the Constitution of South Africa which states that National security must reflect the resolve of the people, as individuals and as a nation, to live as equals, to live in peace and harmony, to be free from fear and want and to seek a better life.

It also states that National security must be pursued in compliance with the law, including international law and that National security is subject to the authority of Parliament and the national executive.

The Commission reiterates that while public security is essential, the public security regime should be in line with Sri Lanka’s human rights obligations, in particular Article 4 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

The recommendations are based on the jurisprudence of the IIN Human Rights Committee, the Paris Minimum Standards of Human Rights Norms in a State of Emergency, and the Siracusa Principles on the Limitation and Derogation Provisions in the ICCPR. (Colombo Gazette)