Court today rejected a request made by Police to issue a directive to the Samagi Jana Balawegaya to hold a planned protest in Colombo tomorrow in accordance with the regulations issued by the Director General of Health Services.
The request was rejected by Colombo Chief Magistrate Buddhika Sri Ragala. Senior Deputy Solicitor General Dileep Peiris, who appeared on behalf of the Keselwatta, Dam Street, Wolfendhal Street and other Police Stations in the Colombo Central Division testified before Court against the protest.
Solicitor General Peiris said intelligence reports were received that the Opposition including several members of Parliament is attempting to hold a protest in the Keselwatta area in Colombo tomorrow.
The Deputy Solicitor General said such meetings held in violation of health regulations could intensify the spread of the novel coronavirus. Solicitor General Peiris said he would not ask for the protest to be banned but requested the Magistrate to issue an order for the demonstration to be conducted in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Director-General of Health Services.
However, Attorneys-at-Law Gunaratne Wanninayake and Athula Ranagala who were representing the organisers of the protest requested the Magistrate to reject the request.
After considering the submissions made by two parties, the Magistrate said no definitive evidences have been tabled to confirm the protest will in fact be held within the Keselwatta area tomorrow.
The Magistrate also indicated that through the Gazette, the Director-General of Health Services has not specified or imposed a restriction on the number of persons who can be part of a protest.
Accordingly, the request by Police was rejected by the Magistrate.