Sunday, March 6, 2016

PM intervenes to stop Independence Square cultural policing

From Daily News & Daily Mirror
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has ordered the Culture Ministry to cancel the contract with this government owned security company, responsible for security at the Independence Square in Colombo.
Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva said the Prime Minister had instructed to remove the Director Operations of the company and to issue a statement, clearing the air on the matter.

De Silva too was among protesters who gathered at the Independence Square last evening against cultural policing.
“This afternoon on behalf of the Government I met with the ‘Occupy the Square’ protesters who had come to Independence Square to protest against the regular harassment of people couples by security guards who seem to have got enormous power to chase them away based on all kinds of weird interpretations of ‘decency’,” de Silva said in a statement posted on his Facebook last evening, nearly two hours after the protest.

“The Director Operations of the security company had been appointed to the post by the former Secretary Defence and is a sitting member of the Kotte municipal council!,” he added.
“In the video that is circulating widely the guards say they have been asked to chase couples away unless accompanied by children.
Today they argued with me that holding hands, putting a hand on the shoulder etc are indecent acts and won’t be tolerated.
I reported the matter to the Prime Minister who issued the above instructions to ensure that young people in this country can enjoy their freedom in a decent manner.
This is the democracy we fought to establish in this country,” the Deputy Minister explained. 

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