No need for total lock-down: Prez

18 March 2020 06:12 am - 20     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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As a country which did not go through a lock-down even during the 30-year war, there is no need to go for a lock-down in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said yesterday adding that the country needs to function.

He said while the other countries had recorded a large number of deaths in the wake of the COVID-19 infection, Sri Lanka had managed to mitigate such a situation.

Referring to the war, the President said he was able to bring the war to an end without shutting down any area when he was the Defence Secretary under President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

“Even during the 30-year war, during the tenure of the Rajapaksa government, we did not take any decision to loc-down cities or the country. We managed to defeat LTTE terrorism unlike other countries in the world. Other countries may have the best medical facilities but we managed to cure infected people with our efforts," he said.

The President said doctors should look into this prevailing situation in a thoughtful manner and should take the most appropriate decisions to control the situation.

"The doctors are the cream of our society and in this critical situation they should take the best decision, he said. The COVID-19 pandemic is not a challenge to us," he said.

"When comparing with other countries we maintain good standards. As leaders, we should be trustworthy to people in the country. I'm the one who runs this country. Those holding responsible posts should do as I say," he said.

With regard to the general election, the President said he could not take a decision on postponing the election but the Election Commission has the authority to do so if necessary. “There is no need to reconvene parliament,” he said adding that the situation should not be used to gain political advantage.

The President said declaring public holidays was easy but doing so would have a negative impact on the day to day lives of the citizens and the functioning of the country.

The President also requested the public not to organise and participate in large gatherings such as wedding ceremonies, election campaigns and religious observances including Dhamma sermons at religious places of worship.

Meanwhile, at a discussion with Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, the Cardinal had agreed to stop all religious observances. (Chaturanga Samarawickrama)

  Comments - 20

  • cheers Wednesday, 18 March 2020 08:02 AM

    Well said Sir, You showed great leadership during war and also as the head of state. People are safe under you and they elected you with a majority as they all trust you and I am sure you will never let them down

    Liberal One Wednesday, 18 March 2020 08:10 AM

    I think we need to lock down for say 3 days so people know actually what a lock down means. The IT crowd who gets a salary in the end of the month seem to think that a lockdown means a month of public holidays.

    Independent Wednesday, 18 March 2020 08:17 AM

    You cannot rule a country like in Military.

    ANTON Wednesday, 18 March 2020 08:20 AM

    YES GOOD SPEECH , GOOD DECISIONS AND ACTIONS ..... AND HEREAFTER DON'T GO TO SINGAPORE FOR MEDICAL TREATMENTS, WE HAVE GOOD DOCTORS HERE.

    ANTON Wednesday, 18 March 2020 08:21 AM

    YES GOOD SPEECH , GOOD DECISIONS AND ACTIONS ..... AND HEREAFTER DON'T GO TO SINGAPORE FOR MEDICAL TREATMENTS AS WE HAVE GOOD DOCTORS HERE.

    Sarath Wednesday, 18 March 2020 08:24 AM

    Useless address to the nation. Merely told some rubbish about the economy to justify his failure to present a budget, then tried to give incentives of dhal and salmon as an election propaganda

    Ramalingam Wednesday, 18 March 2020 08:32 AM

    During the 30 years war how many times we had all island curfew declared? That's same as locking down without military presence. We did not forget the past.

    CITIZEN Wednesday, 18 March 2020 08:32 AM

    THE PRESIDENTS PRESENT CONCERN IS A 2/3 MAJORITY TO TAKE TOTAL CONTROL OF THE COUNTRY. HE IS LEAST BOTHERED ABOUT THE PEOPLE. HE CANNOT COMPARE THE SPREAD OF VIRUS TO THE WAR AGAINST TERRORISM

    Jude Wednesday, 18 March 2020 08:41 AM

    Lock-Down immediately for 15 days!!!

    Jude Wednesday, 18 March 2020 08:53 AM

    Hey terrorism and COVID-19 contrast difference !!! There's a chance pandemic will kill like 3000 LANKANS in 3 months!!!??? Or 15 day lock-down will reduce the spreading significantly!!! It's your call Prez !!! DO it immediately!!!

    Jude Wednesday, 18 March 2020 08:55 AM

    Get your priorities right!!?? Yeah !!!

    SAM Wednesday, 18 March 2020 09:04 AM

    We value the confidence and are encouraged by this statement. We will cooperate in any manner possible in this dark hour. I wish all the people and the President wisdom strength and Gods blessings to guide us to safety.

    Andrew Silva Wednesday, 18 March 2020 09:44 AM

    Who is talking about a lock down Mr. President? Only you are talking about a lock down.

    AIA Wednesday, 18 March 2020 09:50 AM

    Not that there is no need . We can’t afford a total lock down . In our economy we will starve to death

    Ronnie Bugger Wednesday, 18 March 2020 10:11 AM

    Oh, so he says - quote - I am the ONE who runs the Country. Those holding responsible positions should do as I say - unquote. Do we see another Kim Jong Un in the making or is this an egoistic and stubborn comment. This President probably does not believe in ruling by consensus. Sorry thamai.

    Sri lankan Wednesday, 18 March 2020 10:12 AM

    What sort of comparison between the local war with this pandemic. Be pragmatic, it is not the physical war, your smartness on what u done in that irrelevant here, it is not at all the stage to vent your personal marketing of your achievement, country already paid enough to u for that. At least pay attention how other leaders of world emit the sentiment on this matter rather than self marketing, starting the deterioration ; on the hope we have on you

    janaka Wednesday, 18 March 2020 10:18 AM

    Don't talk nonsense this is not war , This is a kind of decease which is spreading world wide , you are taking this to your advantage to kill people and you have said that the dhal price and canned fish you have reduced , you are asking the people to eat dhal and canned fish. We people voted for you not to eat dhal and Canned fish

    Ravi Wikramasinghe Wednesday, 18 March 2020 10:25 AM

    Complete lockdown will paralyze the economy, specially the SME sector. If that happens rebuilding of economy after the corona crisis will be much challenging. These politicians who propose complete lockdown have a ulterior motive, postpone election, destroy economy create misery and grab power. Lucky that we have non political leader running this country.

    Andrew Silva Wednesday, 18 March 2020 01:09 PM

    The President was able to win the war through bullets and he is under the impression he can do the same with the Crona virus. Is he going to use bullets to destroy the virus.

    CITIZEN Wednesday, 18 March 2020 10:15 PM

    IT IS IDIOTIC TO COMPARE THE WAR WITH THE SPREAD AND FIGHT AGAINST COVID VIRUS


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