Written by Zulfick Farzan
16 Nov, 2021 | 10:53 am
COLOMBO (News 1st); Sri Lanka’s Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa on Tuesday (16) told the Parliament that Sri Lanka Police is being used to curtail the rights of the people.
“This is happening across the country with roadblocks put in place,” said Premadasa adding that people have been forced to get off buses and their names are being listed down by police officers.
He said that bus drivers are being threatened by police officers noting that their route permits will be terminated.
With the Prime Minister also in attendance in Parliament, the Opposition Leader said the ruling faction’s march (when in opposition) was given protection by the state and questioned Prime Minister Rajapaksa if the people have no right to raise their concerns to the opposition leader.
“The people in the country should have the right to speak about the issue that they face. They should have the right to freedom of expression enshrined in the constitution of Sri Lanka,” said Sajith Premadasa.
The Opposition Leader said several police officers were seen making efforts to obtain orders against the SJB protest from the country, rather than engaging in their usual duties as police officers.
“Several courts rejected those requests made by Police,” he said and told the Prime Minister to refrain from making efforts to take away the people’s rights to expression and raise their concerns.
Noting that he means no disrespect to the armed forces and police, the Opposition Leader said police officers are being forced to block the protestors, and he called on the state to end such efforts.
Further, Sajith Premadasa told the Ministry of Public Security to deploy the police to uncover the truth behind the Easter Sunday Attacks, rather than using them to stop people from traveling to a protest in Colombo.
“The people have a right to exercise their freedom of expression. We must solve our problems within the country as a democracy,” he told the Parliament, adding that is no need to seek external mediators.
“This is NOT a police State. This is a sovereign state,” he told the Parliament and expressed amazement when it is being reported that the SJB protest in Colombo may fall victim to a terror attack, as reported by the media.
He said the government must ensure that there is no such attack on protests organized for the people to raise their concerns.
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