Written by Amani Nilar
24 Jul, 2022 | 2:58 pm
COLOMBO (News 1st); President Ranil Wickramasinghe has reaffirmed Sri Lanka’s commitment to uphold the rights of peaceful and non-violent assembly.
The President stated this during a meeting held with the presence of diplomatic personnel in Colombo last Friday (27).
This meeting was called to inform the diplomatic officers regarding the removal of the protestors who were illegally occupying the Presidential Secretariat premises.
President Wickremesinghe has affirmed that the Government will uphold both Article 21 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Article 14 (1) (b) of the Constitution of Sri Lanka, which governs the right to peaceful assembly.
The President further clarified that the instructions given by the American Civil Liberties Union stated that protesters were not permitted to block government buildings and interfere with other purposes the property was designed for.
The Diplomats were also briefed on the measures being taken to ensure that non-violent protests were allowed to proceed within the city without endangering property or lives.
The statement issued by the President highlights that facilities within Colombo such as Viharamahadevi Park’s open-air theatre, New City Hall, Hyde Park and Campbell Park were all made available for non-violent protests.
Responding to the concerns raised about the GotaGoGama protest site, the President clarified that it had not been taken down by the security forces as per incorrect social media reports.
Furthermore, the Attorney General informed those in the meeting with regard to the legal procedure to be followed, including the presentation of all those arrested by the police to the Colombo Magistrate Court.
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