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Sri Lanka emergency law a deadly blow to democracy: rights body

ECONOMYNEXT – The declaration of emergency is a ‘deadly blow’ to democracy and free speech, Sri Lanka’s Free Media Movement, a rights body said calling for its removal.

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,” the Free Media Movement said.

“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.”

The declaration has to be ratified by parliament within 10 days. If not it lapses in 14 days. Parliament is next expected to meet on May 17 but can be recalled.

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,” the FMM said.

“Therefore, the Free Media Movement urges all Members of Parliament to oppose the Emergency and stand in solidarity with the people of this country.” (Colombo/May09/2022)

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