Sri Lanka has banned 11 hardline Islamist organisations, including the Islamic State (ISIS) and Al-Qaeda, for their links to extremist activities The Times of India reported.
On Tuesday, 13 April, President Gotabaya Rajapaksha via a special gazette notification prohibited the radical groups under the Prevention of Terrorism (temporary) Provisions Act.
Among those banned is Sri Lanka Islamic Students Movement, a local muslim group.
It specifies that any person who acts in contravention or conspires to act would be sentenced to prison terms between 10 and 20 years.
This proscription of Islamist terror group has come a week ahead of the second anniversary of the 2019 Easter bombings on 21 April 2019, in which 279 people were killed and at least 500 injured.
The move is "in furtherance of the efforts of the government of Sri Lanka made in good faith for the purpose of ensuring the continuance of peace within the country," Rajapaksa said.
Three local groups, National Thowheeth Jamaath (NTJ) and two other outfits suspected to be linked directly to attacks, were banned in 2019, but a presidential investigation into the bombings wanted similar Islamic groups banned too.
The investigation found that then-president Maithripala Sirisena and his intelligence leaders were warned by India about the attacks 17 days before they took place.
As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.
Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.
We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.
Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.