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Using Disaster Management Act to fight COVID-19 would’ve ensured more transparency, acountability: SJB

ECONOMYNEXT – The government of Sri Lanka could’ve handled the COVID-19 pandemic better had it utilised the Disaster Management Act, which would also have ensured more transparency, legitimacy and accountability, former MP Karunarathna Paranawithana said.

Paranavithana, representing the opposition Samagi Jana Balavegaya (SJB), accused the government of making Sri Lanka’s disaster management mechanism “completely dormant” by not using the act to fight COVID-19. The act is fully equipped to handle a pandemic situation, he told reporters this morning.

Paranawithana further said the government is now withholding information about key developments in Sri Lanka’s COVID-19 prevention programme.

Referring to the Right to Information Act (RTI), the ex MP said all state authorities and departments are bound to provide information to the general public about their past actions.

“Today the government is controlling all the [COVID-19] funds by completely setting aside the Disaster Management Act, its mechanisms and officers,” he added. (Colombo/May8/2020)

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