Sri Lanka: Emergency regulations are a threat to freedom of speech and expression. Should be repealed immediately – Free Media Movement09 May, 2022
The Free Media Movement wishes to state that the declaration of a state of emergency at a time when the people were peacefully protesting was a deadly blow to democracy. The freedom of assembly and peaceful dissent can be restricted under the guise of a state of emergency, while other restrictive regulations can be enforced to restrict the freedom of speech and expression.
What needs to happen in a crisis is to expand the space for free speech and dissent, and the declaration of such repressive laws violates the democratic rights of the people, including the freedom of speech and expression.
The Free Media Movement condemns the declaration of the state of emergency in defiance of public demands and calls on the President to remove this repressive law immediately.
Parliament also has a critical responsibility in this regard. The declared state of emergency must be passed by a Parliament majority within ten days, otherwise, it will be annulled within 14 days. Parliament has now adjourned but has the power to annul this regulation without allowing it to be approved at the next session. Therefore, the Free Media Movement urges all Members of Parliament to oppose the Emergency and stand in solidarity with the people of this country.
Lasantha De Silva
Free Media Movement c/o SLPI, No 96, Kirula Road Colombo 05, Sri Lanka Telephone: +94 777 394 959 Fax: +94 11 257 3279
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