Prevention of Hostage Taking Act,
A Bill to give effect to the Convention against the taking of hostages;
and for matters connected therewith and incidental thereto.
Ordered to be published by the Minister of Foreighn Affairs
WHEREAS the International Convention against the taking of hostages
was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on the
Seventeenth day of December One Thousand Nine Hundred and Seventy
AND WHEREAS Sri Lanka intends to accede to the aforesaid Convention:
AND WHEREAS it is necessary to make legal provision to give effect
to Sri Lanka's obligations under the aforesaid Convention:
NOW THEREFORE, be it enacted by the Parliament of the Democratic
Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka as follows: --
1. This Act may be cited as the Prevention of Hostage
Taking Act of 2000, and shall come into operation on such date
as the Minister, by Order published in the Gazette, certifies
as the date on which the International Convention against the
Taking of Hostages (hereinafter referred to as "the Convention")
adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on the Seventeenth
day of December OneThousand tNine Hundred and Seventy Nine, enters
into force in respect of Sri Lanka.
Short title and date of operation
2. The Minister may, from time to time, by Order published
in the Gazette, certify the State which are parties to the Convention.
A State in respect of which an Order is made under this section
is hereinafter referred to as "a Convention State".
3. (1) Any person who--
(a) seizes or detains; and
(b) threatens to kill, or to injure, or to continue to detain,
another person (hereinafter referred to as "the hostage")
in order to compel a third party, that is to say, any State, an
International Intergovernmental Organization, any person or group
of persons, to do, or to abstain from doing, any act as an express
or implied condition for the release of the hostage, shall be
guilty of the offence of hostage taking.
(2) Any person who--
(a) attempts to commit;
(b) aids or abets the commission of,
the offence of hostage taking shall be guilty of an offence under
this Act. In this subsection, "abet" has the same meaning
as in section 100 and 101 of the Penal Code.
(3) A person guilty of an offence under subsection (1) or subsection
(2) of this section shall on conviction, after trial on indictment,
by the High Court be punished with imprisonment for life.
Offences of hostage taking &c.
4. (1) The High Court of Sri Lanka holden in Colombo or
the High Court established by Article 154p of the Constitution
for the Western Province shall, notwithstanding anything in any
other law, have exclusive jurisdiction to try offences under this
(2)Where an act constituting an offence under this Act is committed
outside Sri Lanka, the High Court referred to in subsection (1)
shall have jurisdiction to try such offence as if it were committed
in Sri Lanka, if--
(a) the person who committed such act is present in Sri Lanka;
(b) if such act is committed by a citizen of Sri Lanka or by a
stateless person who has his habitual residence in Sri Lanka;
(c) if such act is committed in order to compel the Government
of Sri Lanka, to do, or to abstain from doing, any act; or
(d) if such act is committed in respect of a hostage who is a
citizen of Sri Lanka.
High Court to try offences under this Act.
5. Where a person who is not a citizen of Sri Lanka is
arrested for an offence under this Act, such person shall be entitled--
(a) to communicate without delay, with the nearest appropriate
representative of the State of which he is a national or which
is otherwise entitled to protect his rights, or if he is a stateless
person, with the nearest appropriate representative of the State
in the territory of which he was habitually resident; and
(b) to be visited by a representative of that State.
Rights of certain persons arrested for offences under this
6. (1) The Extradition Law No. 8 of 1977 is hereby amended
by the insertion immediately before Part B of the Schedule to
that Law, of the following item:--
"44 Hostage taking."
(2) Where a request is made under the Extradition Law, No. 8
of 1977, by or on behalf of a Convention State, for the extradition
of a person accused or convicted of an offence falling within
the description set out in the Schedule to this Act, the Extradition
Law, No. 8 of 1977 shall, in its application to such request,
have effect as if for the words "race, religion, nationality
or political opinions" appearing in paragraph (b)
and (c) of subsection (1) of section 7 of that Law, there
were substituted the words "race, religion, nationality,
ethnic origins or political opinions".
Amendment to Extradition Law.
7. Where there is an extradition arrangement made by the
Government of Sri Lanka with any Convention State in force on
the date on which this Act comes into operation, such arrangement
shall be deemed, for the purposes of the Extradition Law, No.
8 of 1977, to include provision for extradition in respect of
the offences specified in the Schedule to this Act.
Existing extradition arrangements with Convention States deemed
to provide for offences in the Schedule.
8. Where there is no extradition arrangement made by the
Government of Sri Lanka with any Convention State, the Minister
may, by Order published in the Gazette, treat the Convention,
for the purposes of the Extradition Law, No. 8 of 1977, as an
extradition arrangement made by the Government of Sri Lanka with
that Convention State providing for extradition in respect of
the offences specified in the Schedule to this Act.
Minister may treat Convention in extradition arrangement between
Sri Lanka and certain Convention States, in respect of offences
in the Schedule.
9. The Government of Sri Lanka shall afford all such assistance
to, and may through the Minister request all such assistance from,
a Convention State as may be necessary for the investigation and
prosecution of an offence under section 3 or of an offence specified
in the Schedule to this Act, including, assistance relating to
the taking of evidence and statements and the serving of process.
Assistance to Convention States.
10. In the event of any inconsistency between the Sinhala
and Tamil texts of this Act, the Sinhala text shall prevail.
SCHEDULE [Section 7,8]
(1) The seizure and detention by one person of a another person
and the threat by such person to kill, injure or continue to detain,
such other person (in this Schedule referred to as "the hostage")
in order to compel any State, international inter-governmental
organization, person or group of persons to do, or abstain from
doing, any act as an express or implied condition for the release
of the hostage.
(2) Attempt to commit the offence referred to in paragraph (1)
(3) Aiding and abeting the commission of the offence referred
to in paragraph (1).
Sinhala text to prevail in case of inconsistency.