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Tamil Civil Society Forum demands ‘concrete answers’ from Sri Lanka over COVID-19 response

The Tamil Civil Society Forum (TCSF) has put forward a set of eight questions to the Sri Lankan government on its coronavirus response, calling for greater transparency in how Colombo’s actions during the pandemic.

“We fear that politics precedes science and the public good in the Government’s response to COVID 19,” said the TCSF. “We demand concrete answers to these questions from the Government. The Government must release in public a white paper on its handling of the crisis thus far and its plans for the future.”

The TCSF called for clarification on the government’s strategy, including on curfews, funding and the economic fallout thus far.

“What standards are used in the maintenance of quarantine centres operated by the army?,” the TCSF asked.

“Who decides where these quarantine centres are set up? Do public health officials have a role in the selection? Why cannot the running of these centres be left to public health officials? Without restricting themselves to emergency work why is the military leading what is essentially a public health problem? What competence or training does the armed forces have to carry out these functions?”

“During a pandemic citizens and civil societies cannot be passive consumers of information that is put out by Governments,” said the TCSF. “Questions must be asked and asking questions must not be considered as burdensome by the Government.”

See the full text of the questions submitted here.

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