Sri Lanka promulgates draconian measures

[TamilNet, Thursday, 04 May 2000, 06:07 GMT]
The Sri Lankan President promulgated draconian measures under the public security ordinance banning all activities perceived as a threat to national security last night. Under these regulations, the government can take possession of ships, planes and vehicles and other assets from the public for national security purposes and for the maintenance of the essential services. The regulations also provide for the government to ban any publication and seize printing presses.

The regulations were gazetted last night. The promulgation has been made under Section 40 of the Public Security Ordinance.

The government can seize the buildings and any other assets of any person found guilty under the Prevention of Terrorism Act and obtain the services of anyone in the national interests or to run the essential services.

It can also appoint competent authorities to run essential services and civil security.

The printing, distribution and selling of some publications that are not acting in the interests of national security will be banned. The government will have the right to seize printing presses acting in contravention of the regulations promulgated last night. Persons engaging in such acts will be arrested. Displaying banners and posters and distributing leaflets are banned.

Those who speak against the President, the constitution and the judiciary will be severely punished.

Strikes and organising strikes are banned. The government has the authority to close the bank accounts of organisations which engage in strike action.

The right to arrest any person has been granted to the Police and officers appointed for the purpose by the commanders of the Sri Lanka Army, Air Force and Navy.

 

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