The Sri Lankan government's newly declared high-security zones across several areas in Colombo are "a new form of illegal repression against the people", said Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) Leader Sajith Premadasa, reports DailyFT.
The SJB leader went on to state there had been three forms of repression "unleashed" against the people including declaring several high-security zones, the misuse of the Prevention of Terrorism Act to imprison student leaders and the repression of the media.
His remarks come after Sri Lankan president Ranil Wickremesinghe issued an Extraordinary Gazette notification declaring several areas in Colombo as 'High-Security Zones', saying the move is aimed at ensuring stability and not curbing freedom of expression, amid mounting criticism from rights groups.
High Security Zones have been deployed by the state for years to seize and occupy vast swathes of land across the North-East. Many areas remain under military occupation.