ECONOMYNEXT – Authorities should not use quarantine rules to suppress peaceful protest, violating constitutional rights of the people, especially when they were bailed out by courts, and first contacts were quarantine at home elsewhere, the Bar Association of Sri Lanka has said.
Sri Lanka Director General of Health has permitted the operation of spas, supermarkets and restaurants and have not listed public protests and outdoor meetings as prohibited activities but only mass gatherings of people.
“In the past few days Sri Lanka Police has carried out a number of arrests of persons engaged in peaceful protests on different issues and produced them before courts of law,” the BASL said in a letter the Director General of Health.
“In certain instances, after such protestors are released on bail by the Magistrate before whom they were produced, they have been taken away against their will to quarantine centres by Police officers, sometimes without even informing them or their families of where they were being taken.
“The BASL has taken note of several instance and is deeply concerned as to how individual after having been granted bail have been forcibly seized from the precincts of the court houses and sent to quarantine against their will.
“There is scant evidence that such decisions were based on the advice of health officials such Public Health Inspectors.
“Compounding these concerns are the fact that by new even persons infected with Covid-19 and their first contacts are being quarantined at their respective homes or hotel rather than being taken to Quarantine centres.”
Liquidity injections and Treasury bills purchases have triggered a 2.3 billion US dollar balance of payments deficit in 2020 (purchases of dollars with printed money) and a 929 million dollar deficit up to April.
After multiple restrictions on convertibility at a non-credible peg of 203 to the US dollar, parallel market exchange rates had move up to around 230 to the US dollar.
Instead of controlling liquidity however, authorities have tried to control some types of imports.(Colombo/July12/2021)