Several diplomats have expressed their concerns after President Gotabaya Rajapaksa declared a State of Emergency at midnight yesterday (06).
Canadian High Commission to Sri Lanka David McKinnon questioned the move, emphasising that the recent public protests were merely a show of citizens exercising their right to peaceful freedom of expression.
“It’s hard to understand why it is necessary, then, to declare a state of emergency”, McKinnon said, taking to Twitter.
Further, UN Resident Coordinator to Sri Lanka, Hanaa Singer-Hamdy also took to Twitter, noting that such a limitation to the exercise of fundamental rights are only acceptable in the event when such actions are proportional and justified.
She explained, however, that the recent demonstrations seen were merely peaceful expressions of dissent, implying that the declaration of a State of Emergency was not, in fact, a proportionate response.
She suggested, instead, that the “root causes for dissent” be tackled.
In a similar vein, the Delegation of the European Union to Sri Lanka warned that the State of Emergency will not help in solving the country’s difficulties, and could instead, have a counterproductive effect.