The National Movement for a Just Society, issuing a special statement stated that all citizens who value their freedom and independence must unite to face government’s repression and the dictatorial frenzy of the government cannot be defeated by isolated struggles.
The statement, issued by the Secretary General of the National Movement for a Just Society, Palitha Lihiniya Kumara states as follows.
Sri Lanka is in a great risk at the face of a new COVID wave. Although several trade unions, such as the Public Health Inspectors' Association, have been warning us for weeks about this risk full situation, instead of heeding them and taking the necessary precautions, the government acted to legislate several legislations during the crucial days before the Sinhala and Tamil New Year that pose serious threats to the sovereignty, democracy and the rule of law.
The hasty passage of the Port City Bill and the attempts to overrule the judiciary by a parliamentary resolution are by no means the actions of a patriotic, disciplined or accountable government. Instead of facing the pandemic, the government is still trying to turn the police and the criminal justice system in to a weapon that can be used to silence its critics. Instead of discussing or responding to its critics, the government is trying to intimidate or imprison dissidents.
Today, parliamentarians, police officers, lawyers and poets have been imprisoned for no crime other than criticizing the government , discharging their duties honestly , appearing for their clients and writing thought-provoking literature.
The government has also now announced plans to legislate to censor free thought, debate and discussion through the internet.
We are appalled and outraged at the move to arrest a Member of Parliament for using his privilege of speaking in Parliament. Such behavior is inappropriate for a democratic people's government. Sri Lanka risks further isolation from the world community, if these non-partisan policies continue. We cannot face the risk towards the sovereignty of our country and our basic democratic traditions by being so isolated. These challenges can only be overcome if all Sri Lankans who value their freedom and independence join hands and face these threats together.
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