ECONOMYNEXT – Police have arrested 7,316 Sri Lankans as of yesterday for allegedly violating quarantine regulations in the midst of a dramatic surge in COVID-19 cases, police spokesman DIG Ajith Rohana said.
Rohana said in a statement that 351 people were arrested in raids conducted yesterday for non-compliance of quarantine regulations including proper masking and maintaining physical distance in public places.
Video footage of police officers clad in personal protective equipment (PPE) frog-marching alleged violators into buses have been shared widely on social media. Former Sri Lanka Human Rights Commissioner Ambika Satkunanathan has called these actions on the part of the police ‘selective.
Do the police manhandle/treat everyone who fails to wear a mask, i.e. in other parts of Sri Lanka, this way? Did they do this at Turf Club, Nuwara Eliya? The law is used/abused selectively in SL based on factors such as ethnicity & class. Everyone is not equal before the law. https://t.co/6e7Ctdv3yP
— Ambika Satkunanathan (@ambikasat) May 6, 2021
Rohana said in his statement that police will continue to carry out what he called special operations mainly in the Colombo city limits as well Gampaha and Kalutara districts.
Raids will be conducted in public places, bus terminals, railway stations, beaches, parks and restaurants, he added.
Parties and private events are banned in Sri Lanka till May 20 and people in isolated areas are not permitted to visit other residences in their respective area, pending review of the situation, according to officials. (Colombo/May10/2021)