SJB claims Prez moving towards authoritarianism, alleges that Fundamental Rights are restricted

In a scathing allegation levelled against President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) has expressed that the President is wrongfully restricting the Fundamental Rights of the citizenry and is moving further in the direction of authoritarianism.

These statements were made through a media release disseminated by the Party today (01).

Referring to the President’s decision to declare a State of Emergency by bringing into effect Part 2 of the Public Security Ordinance on the basis of the Covid-19 pandemic, the SJB is concerned that the said declaration has not been made bona fide, and that it was made with ulterior motives.

It also pointed out that the provisions of this Ordinance are more suited to situations which pose a threat to public security, rather than a pandemic situation.

While mentioning that the Disaster Management Act is specifically designed to deal with disasters which is defined to include epidemics, the SJB highlighted that the President has not made a declaration which states that a State of Disaster exists in the country.

“The President instead opted to establish a ‘Task Force’ outside the existing legal framework,” the release noted.

As the Gazette Notification also makes reference to maintenance of essential services and supplies, the SJB observes that there is no disruption to such functions which warrant such a declaration.