Sri Lanka police say sorry to woman they included in a list of quarantine avoiders
The police department is apologizing to a woman whose photograph appeared in a list released by the authorities on Monday that featured a group of people who the police said arrived in the country earlier in the month but did not go into quarantine.
Deraniyagalage Shirani Peries called police yesterday from France and protested that her picture has appeared in this list, a Police spokesman told EconomyNext.
In its statement today the department said police have found out that the “resident of 265, Samagi Mawatha, Palenwatta, Pannipitiya arrived in Sri Lanka on March 5 and left on March 8 for France. Therefore the Police has stopped their search for her.”
In a statement released to media today, they said that “they had released her photograph to the public seeking their help to locate her as they believed she had avoided going through the quarantine process.”
Peiris had said she had come to Sri Lanka to attend a funeral and left shortly afterwards.
It added that the Police “is apologizing for any inconvenience caused to the lady in question.”
The list had 12 people who the police said had avoided the quarantine process.
Three of them including Peiris are adults and the rest are children.
The “wanted” posting which the Police department requested Editors and Broadcast News Directors to give publicity to the pictures of these children as well.
Of the 9 children in the list, 6 are infants a year or younger. One is a 7-year old girl and another a 6-year old boy.
There was no mention of the names and addresses of the children’s parents in the police notice. The police also did not say why the children were exposed without a mention about the parents.
Police said the family of one of the infants Amelia Hirudini called and said that she has also left Sri Lanka.
Mandatory quarantine processes for incoming passengers to Sri Lanka began on March 10 and many of those listed in the police notice had arrived before that date.
It is highly unusual for the police to publish names and photographs of children in a “wanted” situation, unless the child is a victim of kidnapping or abduction.
The same restrictions apply to media where consent is required for the publication of photographs and names.
Kithmina Hewage- Institute of Policy Studies