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Protest at Galle Face: Statement from the President’s office

Published:

*Media Release – July 24th, 2022*

President Ranil Wickremesinghe said that Sri Lanka will continue to support the right to peaceful, nonviolent assembly. At a meeting on Friday(27) with diplomats based in Colombo, the President told them his opinion.

Diplomats were told at the meeting that protesters who had been illegally occupying the Presidential Secretariat had been removed. President Wickremesinghe said that the Government would uphold both Article 21 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Article 14 (1)(b) of the Constitution of Sri Lanka, which talks about the right to peaceful assembly.

The President went on to say that the American Civil Liberties Union had told them that protesters weren’t allowed to block government buildings or get in the way of other things the buildings were made for.

The diplomats were also told what was being done to make sure that nonviolent protests could continue in the city without putting people or property in danger. Facilities in Colombo, such as the Open-Air Theater at Viharamahadevi Park, the New Town Hall, Hyde Park, and Campbell Park, were made available for peaceful protests.

Concerns about the GotaGoGama protest site were addressed by saying that, contrary to false social media reports, it had not been taken down by security forces. Also, the Attorney General told the participants about the legal options being looked into, such as bringing everyone who was arrested by the police before the Colombo Magistrate Court.

*The President’s Media Division*

“24 July 2022.”

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