By Kelum Bandara and Yohan Perera
The government has relaxed provisions of some Emergency Regulations with effect from today including those involving holding meetings and gatherings, curfew, printing literature and providing householder’s names to the police.
However, according to External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris, the government has relaxed these emergency regulations without causing any detriment to the national security.
The government told Parliament that the military would continue to enjoy police powers to deal with ongoing investigations into terrorist activities.
Accordingly, he said the government had done away with the provision with regard to the imposition of curfews in the country.
Curfew, Prof. Peiris said, restricted the liberty of people. However, it was essential for the security forces at that time to conduct military operations successfully.
Prof. Peiris said that such stringent laws were needed at that time to curb hostile and dangerous propaganda activities of the LTTE.
The government has also dispensed with the ‘cluster of emergency regulations’ that
restricts processions and meetings if they are considered detrimental to national security.
The Minister said that any residual problems in this regards could be dealt with under the police ordinance.
He pointed out that the government had done away with the emergency regulation that put imperative obligations on the house owners to give information about their inmates.
Among other emergency regulations that were relaxed, is the provision that conferred powers on the security forces to enter into private properties used in connection wit offences.
Also, the government has dispensed with the provisions that exempted the security forces from certain laws such as motor traffic regulations.
He said tourist arrivals were increasing today with the travel advisories issued against Sri Lanka being revised now.
The Minister pointed out that the relaxation of emergency regulations would further boost the economy as under these circumstances.