Colombo Additional Magistrate Lochani Abeywickrema today informed Court that quarantine laws cannot prevail over the freedom of speech and the right to protest guaranteed by the Constitution.
The Additional Magistrate made this statement in Court during a hearing pertaining to the arrest of a group of fishermen, who lost employment owing to the fire onboard the X-Press Pearl vessel.
They were arrested during a protest held in Mutwal on charges of violating quarantine regulations.
The Additional Magistrate stated that while quarantine laws should be enforced, it cannot violate an individual’s fundamental rights.
The Colombo Additional Magistrate added the public should not be suppressed by quarantine laws.