Stop Militarisation: Lawyers For Democracy Tells Government

“Lawyers for Democracy” see a serious crisis developing due to authorities concerned acting under a misconception regarding the 30 year war which was against an armed struggle and our forces were able to successfully defeat and the war against the pandemic Covid-19. The war against Covid-19 cannot be defeated by the use of military power or by adopting military strategies and tactics. The war against Covid 19 has to be led by the Public Health Authorities of our country and it is they who should be in the front line in this war. The main supporting force has to be the public service from government agents, divisional secretaries, down to village level public servants such as grama niladharies, samurdi niyamakas, govi niyamakas, etc. The tri forces has an important task to play in support of the public health authorities and public service in implementation of their decisions and strategies.

In this context the move by the government to deprive the Public Health Authorities the sole right to decide on policies and strategies in fighting this war and to give the leadership to the forces ignoring the important role of the public service is of great concern.  

We “Lawyers for Democracy” view these moves of the government as a further step towards militarization of the state. The appointment of a retired Major General as the Secretary of the Ministry of Health clearly shows this trend. 

We lawyers for Democracy calls upon the government to stop this trend and to strengthen the fight against Covid-19 by assigning the leadership to Public Health Authorities and Public Services.  

Lal Wijenayake 

On behalf of the Conveners

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