BASL writes to Army Commander, IGP

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The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) has written to the Inspector General of Police, C.D. Wickremeratne and Army Commander Lt. Gen. Vikum Liyanage regarding the removal of protesters at the Galle Fort yesterday (29).

In a letter addressed to the two parties, the BASL raised concerns over the unlawful removal of protesters at the Ramparts of the Galle Fort, as the protest was held in a public area, requiring no such removal.

“The suppression of the people’s right to protest and dissent is not the answer to the present situation in the country where the people are facing untold hardships due to shortages of fuel and other essentials. We re-iterate that the police and the armed forces should not be used to stifle peaceful protests and dissent.”, the letter read.

The BASL further called on the law enforcement authorities to ensure that the fundamental rights of people including the rights to freedom of expression, speech and publication and peaceful assembly, be protected.

Citing the landmark Janagosha Case of 1993, the BASL stressed the purview of duties the IGP would be required to perform, emphasisng that stifling peaceful protests was not amongst them.