Leaders of 10 political parties affiliated with the government have urged President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to impose a lockdown for a minimum period of 03 weeks, without which, it would be impossible to bring down the number of cases to a level that hospitals can accommodate.
These party leaders include several ministers as well as renowned virologist Prof. Tissa Vitharana.
In a letter to the President, these political parties have also included a set of proposals including an All-Party mechanism to overcome this prevalent challenge. Earlier this week, the UNP also made a similar call.
The Govt. affiliated parties further note that the country is facing a dysfunctional state as there are many who are in quarantine and a large number who fear COVID-19, while the country remains open. Once the spread is controlled, these segments in society will have faith to re-join the country’s economic cycle, they point out.
They also suggest appointing a committee of health and economic experts to advise the aforementioned mechanism.
They also propose to form public committees on various levels of religious leaders, public representatives and volunteer organisation leaders, in addition to the legal mechanism currently in place to see whether the public is following health regulations.
The letter was signed by Ven. Athuraliya Rathana Thero of the Ape Jana Bala Party, minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara of the Democratic Left Front, Professor Tissa Vitharana of the Lanka Sama Samaja Party, minister Wimal Weewaransa of the National Freedom Front, minister Udaya Gammanpila of the Pivithuru Hela Urumaya, A. L. M. Athaulla of the National Congress, Tiran Alles of the Mahajana Eksath Peramuna, Dr. G. Weerasinghe of the Sri Lanka Communist Party, Asaka Nawaratne of the Sri Lanka Mahajana Party and Gevindu Kumaratunga of the Yuthukama National Organization.
SLFP calls for a curfew
Meanwhile, the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) has said that a lockdown or imposing curfew would enable the controlling of the rising number of COVID-19 deaths and infections.
We request the government to consider this, SLFP General Secretary – State Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara says.
Since medical experts and political party leaders have already called for a lockdown of a few weeks, it is prudent to act on the opinion of health officials, he pointed out, speaking at a media conference held at the SLFP headquarters.
However, he admitted that he is aware that this is not easy to do in the prevailing economic climate.