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SRI LANKA Priests, media and rights activists call for Terrorism Act repeal

September 16, 2009

SRI LANKA  Priests, media and rights activists call for Terrorism Act repeal

COLOMBO (UCAN) — The lengthy sentence handed down to Tamil Christian journalist J.S. Tissanayagam has led to a broad-based call for the repeal of the country’s Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA).

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Christian and Buddhists demonstrating in Colombo
on Aug. 31 for the release of the jailed journalist

Hundreds of citizens have been punished under the 1979 law, under which some have languished in remand for 15 years without trial, according to activists.

Christian priests, journalists, rights activists, lawyers and artists gathered at the Centre for Society and Religion (CSR) on Sept. 10 for a meeting to discuss the situation. The meeting, though not publicized, drew around 200 participants.

Father Terrence Fernando, 51, a priest of Colombo archdiocese, told UCA News that although freedom of expression is universally recognized as a fundamental right, “it is already buried in our country.”

“People should come forward fearlessly to urge the government to uphold freedom of expression,” he said…

Read full article here.

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