No gatherings permitted in North: Defence Ministry | Daily News


No gatherings permitted in North: Defence Ministry

The Defence Ministry has instructed Security Forces in the North to take necessary actions to prevent the holding of any gatherings or meetings in Jaffna, Kilinochchi, and Mullaithivu under Quarantine Law, to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

With some information reaching the Ministry that certain groups are planning to gather people to hold ‘Mullivaikkal’ Commemoration Day, ignoring health advices given by the provincial health authorities, the Ministry has instructed Security Forces Commanders in the North to strictly follow the provisions of the Quarantine and Prevention of Diseases Ordinance No.03 of 1897, which was amended by Extraordinary Gazette No.2167/18.

Since some coronavirus-infected persons were reported in the North after their association with a Switzerland-based coronavirus-infected Christian Pastor who conducted a service at the Philadelphia Church in Ariyalai in Nallur, Jaffna, Quarantine Law was fully enforced by the authorities with the assistance of health and security officials, to prevent people crossing the district borders and also holding mass gatherings in the North.

Defence Secretary Maj.Gen. (Rtd.) Kamal Gunaratne has instructed the Security Forces and the Police to strictly follow quarantine law to contain the spread of the coronavirus in the North, which has been controlled to a greater extent now.

However, politicians M.K. Sivagilingam, C.V. Vignashwaran and Nadarasa Vindan, and a provincial councilor, who tried to cross the Sangupiddy roadblock, were not allowed as they did not possess essential services passes, which are required to cross district boundaries.

“Only essential services are allowed to cross the Sangupiddy roadblock, but those three politicians did not have any passes, and they are not required to engage in essential services,” Security Forces Commander Maj.Gen. Ruwan Wanigasooriya said.

He said they had been turned back after the the restrictions imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus were explained to them.

Maj.Gen. Wanigasooriya also said that some people who came in numbers had also been sent back as they were trying to cross district borders.

He told the that anyone who wanted to commemorate their loved ones, who died in the 30-year war, could remember them at their homes following health advice, to prevent the coronavirus from spreading any further.

“In this peaceful region, they can remember their loved ones who died in the war, in their homes. No one is allowed to hold mass celebrations,” he said.

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