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Sri Lanka’s defence secretary admits ‘objections’ to coronavirus detentions

Sri Lanka’s defence secretary admitted that not all foreign arrivals have been willing to go into mandated quarantine at detention centres that the military has constructed, in the wake of the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.

“We also had to face objections by some passengers, who arrived from COVID- 19 hit countries, when they were asked to undergo 14-days quarantine process,” admitted Kamal Gunaratne, Sri Lanka’s war crimes accused defence secretary.

An official Sri Lankan military press release said that some of those detained were “panicked” but  “despite objections of those who were arriving from COVID-19 hit countries, it was mandatory for them to undergo quarantine procedures”.

“The quarantine process which is following now by the military is completely lawful and noncompliance to the stipulated routine would be leading to an imprisonment up to 6 months and could be fined from Rs 2,000 to Rs. 10, 000, if any one who is found guilty of refusing to be in the quarantine process”, added Sri Lankan Police spokesman SP Jaliya Senaratne.

Their comments come as concerns have been raised about the detention centres, which are located hundreds of miles away from Colombo and in the Tamil North-East.

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