Emergency imposed to ensure public safety and political stability - Information Dept | Sunday Observer
Overcoming shortage of forex, a challenge

Emergency imposed to ensure public safety and political stability - Information Dept

8 May, 2022

The Government clarified yesterday that the State of Emergency was declared by the President on Friday midnight, May 6 to ensure political stability which is vital to overcome the socio-economic crisis in the country thereby ensuring public safety and the uninterrupted supply of essential services.

Excerpts of the media release issued yesterday by Information Director General Mohan Samaranayake:

“Sri Lanka is facing the worst economic crisis and political instability after Independence due to manifold reasons short and long term. The common perception is that several reforms in the sectors of political, economic and social fabric should be carried out in-depth to escape from this grave situation.

“Priority among them is to manage the shortage of foreign exchange within the shortest possible time and restore the supply of goods and services.

“The Maha Sangha led by the Chief Prelates, Priests of other religious denominations, Economists, the business community, and professionals including lawyers and doctors have stressed the need for reforms that should be carried out to win over the prevailing crises.

“A series of reform proposals was introduced by the Bar Association of Sri Lanka in its statement published on April 23. The most urgent challenge before the country is to manage the economic and debt crises within the shortest time.

“The Bar Association reiterated that the topmost need of the hour is to have a strong and stable Government which is able to begin the proposed reforms and continue them forward.

“Discussions have already been opened with the multilateral institutions led by the IMF and friendly countries to obtain financial assistance, and restructure outstanding debt, and the outcome of such discussions are positive. Political stability and peace in society are two major conditions that are demanded in building confidence and strength to make such programs a success.

“The agitations being held throughout the country including the capital for the past several days have posed a grave threat to the security of public life. Essential services including the distribution of fuel have been interrupted. Public transport including the railway service has been crippled.

“The daily functions of hospitals have been disrupted thereby causing inconveniences to patients. The operation of manufacturing industries including the apparel sector is faulted intermittently. School students have missed their classes. Workers attached to state and private sector factories and institutions find it difficult to report for duty. These protests have deepened the economic crisis.

“Therefore, to ensure public safety, continue the supply of essential goods and services uninterruptedly, and ensure smooth public transport; according to the powers vested in the President under the Public Security Ordinance, Emergency Regulations have been declared.

“The State of Emergency was imposed as a short-term measure to ease the crisis, and it will be lifted immediately after normalcy returns to the island,” the statement added.

The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) in a release issued yesterday, expressed deep concern over the promulgation of the Emergency Regulations and called on the Government to explain to the public the reasons for this proclamation. It stated the Commission hopes the fundamental rights and freedoms of the people will not be affected during the period of the Emergency.

Chairperson of the HRCSL, former Judge of the Supreme Court, Justice Rohini Marasinghe has invited the Secretary to the President, Defence Secretary and the IGP for a meeting on Monday, May 9.