Written by Zulfick Farzan
01 Sep, 2021 | 1:16 pm
COLOMBO (News 1st); The Samagi Jana Balavegaya has called on the government to lift the emergency regulations and enforce the provisions of the Disaster Management Act.
On Monday (30th August) Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa issued emergency regulations under the Public Security Ordinance and appointed a Major General to oversee food distribution as prices of goods went up and the country’s currency rupee depreciated further, while the country is confronting an economic crisis triggered by Covid-19.
The President declared these regulations under the powers vested in him in terms of Article 2 of the Public Security Ordinance.
However, the SJB, the leading opposition force in the island notes that declaring an emergency under the PSO highlights a threat to public security rather than a threat posed by a pandemic.
In added, that The Sri Lanka Disaster Management Act No. 13 of 2005 was introduced to enforce necessary action with respect to disasters, which include a pandemic situation.
The SJB says it’s been 18 months since the WHO declared a global pandemic, and the President is yet to make an announcement declaring a disaster situation as per the provisions of the DMC Act.
It added that the President had also failed to install the National Council for Disaster Management (NCDM) as the lead agency on disaster risk management in the country.
The President had resorted to establishing a task force for this purpose instead, said the SJB.
It added that given this backdrop, it is clear that an emergency situation has not been declared properly, and the said announcement has been made with the intention of restricting the fundamental rights of the people and to further move towards dictatorship.
The SJB said the present government’s corrupt policies have paved the way for prices of goods to increase and the foreign reserves to deplete.
It added that if there is an obstruction in the delivery of services, the government’s mismanagement and inefficiency need to be blamed and there is no necessity to enforce emergency regulations for that purpose.
The Samagi Jana Balavegaya has requested the President to install the National Council for Disaster Management (NCDM) as the lead agency on disaster risk management in the country as per the provisions of the DMC act and to take action to address the pandemic situation based on the advice and expertise from professionals.
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