Lawyer goes to court against Rehab Bureau

Lawyer goes to court against Rehab Bureau

Lawyer goes to court against Rehab Bureau

Written by Teena Marian

29 Sep, 2022 | 7:34 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st) – Attorney Amila Egodamahawatte filed a special application with the Supreme Court on Thursday (29) seeking a ruling that the Bill titled the Bureau of Rehabilitation is one that leads the country to militarization and is one that violates the constitution of Sri Lanka.

The attorney General was named as the respondent in this petition. 

The petition was filed through Attorney Manjula Balasuriya. 

The petitioner pointed out that, this act provides legislature to vest the judiciary power of the people to this Bureau without following the judicial process. 

They also pointed out that by introducing the Burea of Rehabilitation the government is attempting to usurp the powers of the court and vest it with the bureau, and enable it to act without any orders from the court. 

The petitioners pointed out that although the preamble of the bill states that it is an act to rehabilitate rebels, the lack of a proper interpretation of this term could lead to the people of the aragalaya being taken away to be rehabilitated using the military. 

The petitioner requests the court to issue a determination requesting the legislature to pass this bill through a majority in the parliament as the bill violates the people's freedom of expression and the right to hold peaceful demonstrations. 

At the same time, Civil & Political acitivists point out that the the recently introduced bill to establish a Bureau of Rehabilitation paves the way to crackdown on the Aragalaya protesters.

They allege that the bill will also allow Aragalaya Activists to be detained for a long period at Rehabilitation Camps.

Justice Minister Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe on the 23rd of September presented the bill titled bureau of Rehabilitation.

The bill notes that the objective of the Bureau shall be to rehabilitate drug dependent persons, ex-and misguided combatants, members of violent extremist groups, and any other group of persons who require treatments and rehabilitation by adopting various therapies in order to ensure effective reintegration and reconciliation, through developing socio-economic standards.

It also noted that the administration, management, and control of the affairs of the Bureau shall be vested in a Governing Council.

The Council shall consist of the Secretary or an Additional Secretary of Defence, Health, Education, and Rehabilitation.

It shall also consist of the Inspector General of Police or Deputy Inspector General of Police and a representative of the National Dangerous Drugs Control Board.

In addition, the Minister of Rehabilitation shall appoint three members shall possess academic and professional qualifications and has experience in the fields of rehabilitation, social integration, and law and order, and the Minister reserved the right to appoint and remove the Chairperson of the council.

According to this bill, the Bureau will be vested with the power to direct any member of the Sri Lanka Army, Sri Lanka Air Force, and the Sri Lanka Navy for rehabilitat

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