The Federation of University Teachers’ Associations (FUTA) vehemently condemns the illegal move by the government to impose a so-called police curfew with the intention of obstructing the peaceful protests organized by the general public. The curfew notice, transmitted to the public through a press statement by the Inspector General of Police, clearly aims to prevent people from taking part in the citizens’ demonstration which is scheduled to be held July 9th in Colombo. The demonstration, convened by various citizen groups, is organized to protest the unaccountable conduct of the government that has taken the country into ruins due to mismanagement of the economy and rampant corruption.
Freedom of expression and peaceful assembly are fundamental rights of all citizens recognized by the constitution of the country. The Inspector-General of Police has no legitimate authority to declare a curfew through a press statement. This decision is a blatant violation of the fundamental rights of the citizenry. It is regretful to see that the government, which has failed the nation by dragging the country into the most severe economic crisis in its history — and has unheeded the call of the people demanding accountability — has resorted to repressive measures denying the most basic rights of citizens.
FUTA has always been at the forefront of the people’s struggle, demanding the resignation of the incumbent president and the government that has neglected the concerns of the masses in the most callous manner. While condemning the decision to declare a curfew unlawfully, we demand that this declaration be withdrawn with immediate effect. Furthermore, we urge all the law-abiding citizens in the country to come forward to protest the anti-democratic conduct of the government.