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President Sirisena Follows Rajapaksa in Calling Armed Forces to Maintain Public Order

President Sirisena has issued a Gazette Notification under  calling members of the Armed Forces to  maintain the  of public order in all 25 districts of Sri Lanka.

After repealing the state of emergency on 30th August  2011 them President Rajapaksa too issued the identical Gazette Notification. The Gazette  had been issued on 6th August.

Here is the Gazette Notification issued on 2nd February 2015.


BY virtue of the powers vested in me by Section 12 of the Public Security Ordinance (Chapter 40), I, Maithripala Sirisena,do by this order call out all the members of the Armed Forces specified in the First Schedule hereto, for the maintenance of public order in the areas specified in the Second Schedule hereto.

Read the full Gazette Notification as a PDF: Gazette Notification 2nd Feb 2015

The Sunday Times ( 04 Sep 2011) commenting on the Gazette Notification siad that this order gives the President more powers:

Rajapaksa’s Order, just two days before Parliament for the last time approved his proclamation to extend the state of emergency until August 30, was made under the Public Security Ordinance Part III that deals with special powers of the President. The section dealing with ‘Calling out the armed forces’ (12 (1)) states “Where circumstances endangering the public security in any area have arisen or are imminent and the President is of the opinion that the police are inadequate to deal with such situation in that area, he may, by Order published in the Gazette, call out all or any of the members of all or any of the armed forces for the maintenance of public order in that area.”
Although the State of Emergency has lapsed, under new regulations that were gazetted armed forces can be deployed to maintain public order

This order also confers other powers on the President. An example: Where the President considers it necessary in the public interest to do so for the maintenance of any service which, in his opinion, is essential to the life of the community, he may, by Order published in the Gazette, declare that service to be an essential service. This provision is aimed at dealing with any strikes or other forms of trade union action that may affect the working of public utilities or other services by declaring them as an “essential service.” Where any service is declared by Order made to be an essential service:

(a) any person who, on the day immediately preceding the date of publication of that Order in the Gazette, was engaged or employed, or who, after that day, is engaged or employed, on any work in connexion with that service shall be guilty of an offence if he fails or refuses to attend at his place of work or employment or at such other place as may from time to time be designated by his employer or a person acting under his or her authority of his employer.

(b) Any person who, by violence to person or property, or by spoken or written threat, intimidation or insult of any kind to whomsoever addressed or by molestation of any description, or in any other manner whatsoever-

(i) Impedes, obstructs, delays or restricts the carrying on of that service, or
(ii) Compels, incites, induces or encourages any other person employed in or in connexion with the carrying on of that service to surrender or depart from his employment or
(iii) Prevents any other persons from offering or accepting employment in or in connexion with the carrying on of that service; or

(c) Any persons who, by any physical act or by any speech or writing, incites, induces or encourages any other person to commit any act shall be guilty of an offence.


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