Complaint filed with HRCSL over unsafe quarantine process

A complaint has been filed with the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) over the alleged arbitrary and illegal manner in which factory workers were recently rounded up.

The complaint also alleges the cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment of the factory workers as well as restriction on their freedom of movement and discrimination based on economic and social status of the workers.

The complaint has been made by Chamila Thushari, Chandra Devanarayana, Ashila Dandeniya and Sr. Noel Christine Fernando who represent organisations that work extensively with Free Trade Zone (FTZ) factory workers who are majority women.

“This Complaint is made against Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva, Head of the National Operation Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO), Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Army and the Sri Lankan Military Officers who were sent to round-up 98 workers on whose behalf this Complaint is made. Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva is made a Respondent both in his capacity as the Head of NOCPCO and as the Commander of the Army, without whose direction, Military Officers could not have carried out this operation. We reserve the right to submit to the HRCSL individual names of Military Officers who were present, if in the future we are made aware of them,” the complaint said.

The HRCSL has been requested to inquire in to the conduct of the Respondents Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva and the Sri Lankan Military Officers towards the 98 garment factory workers, as all workers are under real threat of contracting COVID due to the manner in which these illegal and arbitrary rounding up and detention has been carried out. (Colombo Gazette)

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