Government says PTA not used for past six months

A committee chaired by Sagala Ratnayake had been appointed to draft the new counter terrorism law instead of the existing Prevention of Terrorism Act.The Government said the new law will provide adequate provisions for prevention of terrorism and affirm Sri Lanka’s commitment on human rights responsibilities. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had last year submitted the policy and legal framework of the new law, which is to replace the PTA. The Government says the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) has not been used for the past six months.Law and Order Minister Sagala Ratnayake told Parliament the PTA will be replaced soon with a new counter terrorism law. Responding to a question raised in Parliament today, the Minister said that there was no need to use the PTA anymore and so it will be replaced. Last week the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein called on Sri Lanka to move faster on essential post war confidence building measures, including resolving long-pending cases registered under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. (Colombo Gazette) read more

Ukraine UN agency begins cash assistance programme to meet food needs in

“We are using cash transfers, in areas where banks and markets are functioning, to restore some normalcy to people’s otherwise shattered lives,” said WFP’s Representative in Ukraine Giancarlo Stopponi. Both cash and food voucher assistance allow people to go to the market and pick the food they prefer, which includes fresh vegetables, meat, poultry and dairy products – items not normally included in traditional food ration.“It also gives a boost to markets and injects money into the local economy,” added Mr. Stopponi.The first round of cash distributions began in northern Lugansk region through WFP’s partner, Mercy Corps. Each person will receive the equivalent of approximately $20.50 per month to purchase food. Around 140,000 people will be provided with either cash transfers or vouchers.WFP has expanded its emergency operation to provide food assistance for more than 575,000 people until the end of the year. This includes 20,000 children who will receive locally-purchased supplementary food assistance for a period of six months to prevent a further deterioration of their nutritional status and health.WFP was previously providing food assistance to close to 200,000 people. The conflict in eastern Ukraine has affected 5 million people so far, including at least 1.7 million children. WFP prioritizes the most vulnerable population groups amongst residents, returnees, internally displaced persons and host communities and children at risk of malnutrition. read more