FR filed seeking ban on barricades

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A Fundamental Rights (FR) petition was filed before the Supreme Court yesterday (5), seeking an order restraining officials, including officers of the Police Department, from erecting or putting up any permanent or temporary barricades or roadblocks in Colombo.

The petition was filed by a Gampaha resident Shenal Jayasekara, together with the senior adviser to the Centre for Environmental Justice and Chair of Friends of Earth International, Hemantha Withanage.

The petitioners observed that sharp iron spikes and metal pieces were fixed to some of those barricades and covered with black polythene in such a way with intentions to cause injury to the general public, who are trying to participate in the peaceful protest which has been taking place at Galle Face over the last three weeks.

They added that such roadblocks violated their fundamental human rights recognised in the Constitution, by hindering free movement and obstructing public places.

’’It is well below the expected standards and amounts to unethical and/or conduct unbecoming of Police Officers and/or violative of the duties and responsibilities under the Police Ordinance and the regulations made there under,’’ the Petitioners noted. Six respondents, including the IGP, the OIC of Colombo Fort Police, the OIC of Kollupitiya Police, the Road Development Authority, Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka and the Attorney General were named in the Petition.

BY Faadhila Thassim