By Sandun A. Jayasekera
As announced by the Presidential Media Division (PMD) on Tuesday, the curfew was lifted in 19 districts except in the districts of Colombo, Gampaha, Kalutara, Puttalam, Kandy and Jaffna at 6.00 this morning and will be re-imposed at 4.00 pm.
Curfew will remain in force in the Western Province and in the districts of Kandy, Puttalam and Jaffna indefinitely, the PMD said.
The government has declared the week started from Monday (6) to Friday (10) as ‘work from home’ week.
Travelling to and from all districts has been prohibited completely except for the purpose of providing vital services, the PMD said. Those who exploit regulations implemented with the primary objective of ensuring the effective and productive operation of public services would be dealt with strictly in compliance with legislation, the Police said.
The government has put in place a system for the continuous supply of essential food and other products that allow the public to buy them when they are at home. Those engaged in paddy farming and cultivating small-scale tea holdings and exporting crops in any district are permitted to carry out their activities.
Since the primary aim of these steps in this critical situation is to ensure the well-being of the citizens of this country, the government is asking the public to adhere strictly to the guidelines in a responsible manner. The villages in the districts of Colombo, Kandy and Kalutara that have been declared isolated areas will remain in the same category and no one will be permitted to enter or leave such areas until further notice.
Meanwhile, the acting IGP, C.D.Wickramaratne has introduced a new curfew permit system effective from yesterday with the objective of preventing unwanted gathering in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak.
It has been observed that excessive number of people gather at Police Stations to obtain curfew passes during curfew hours. Such large gathering of people is a major hindrance to Coronavirus mitigation activities, he said in a communique.
In this context, under the instructions of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the acting IGP had implemented a new mechanism to issue curfew passes. Accordingly, issuing of curfew passes would be handled at four levels of Police administration.
They are; the Police Headquarters, DIGs offices in each province, SP’s offices in the respective police divisions and Police Stations.
Curfew passes for entities with 50 or more employees located in the district of Colombo, Western Province will be issued by the Police Headquarters. The Office of the SDIG in charge of the Western Province will be entrusted with issuing passes to organizations with 50 or more employees located in the districts of Gampaha and Kalutara in the Province.
In all other Provinces, the Office of the SDIG in charge of the Province is authorized issue curfew permits to organizations with 50 or more employees located in the respective Province. SPs offices in each Police Division will issue curfew passes to entities that have 10 or more, but less than 50 employees in the respective police division. Each police station is tasked with issuing passes to organizations with less than 10 employees located in the police area under its purview. Police stations are also permitted to issue passes to individuals on genuine humanitarian grounds.
The Acting IGP informs entities to decide in advance to which office they should forward their applications for curfew passes. Applications to obtain curfew passes should be submitted only on reasonable grounds.
Employees of the Presidential Secretariat, the Prime Minister’s Office, Ministries, Departments, Corporations, Boards and Authorities, other organizations including banks and media entities can utilize their Official Identity Cards as a curfew pass. Nevertheless, legal actions will be taken against those who use their Official IDs for travelling without official purpose during curfew hours.
- Police streamline issuing curfew passes
- Inter district travel restriction to remain
- Tough action against misusing passes, IDs