Oct 01, Colombo: Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe has issued an extraordinary gazette revoking the order declaring several strategic locations in Colombo district as High Security Zones.
President Ranil Wickramasinghe as the Minister of Defense has issued an Extraordinary Gazette notification on 23 September 2022 declaring several strategic locations in the capital Colombo and administrative capital Sri Jayewardenepura area as high Security zones under the Official Secrets Act.
The President has reversed the order freeing the areas listed as high security zones with effect from today, 1st October.
“I, Ranil Wickremesinghe, President and the Minister of Defence of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka do hereby, with effect from October 01, 2022, revoke the Order issued by me on September 16, 2022 under Section 2 of the Official Secret Act, No. 32 of 1955, and published in the Gazette Extraordinary No. 2298/53 of September 23, 2022,” the extraordinary gazette issued today said.
The Parliament Complex and its surrounding areas, Supreme Court Complex, High Court Complex- Colombo, Magistrate Court Complex- Colombo and Attorney General’s Department, Presidential Secretariat, President’s House, Sri Lanka Navy Headquarters and Police Headquarters in Colombo, The Ministry of Defense and Sri Lanka Army Headquarters in Akuregoda, Sri Lanka Air Force Headquarters in Slave Island, Prime Minister’s Office (Flower Road) and Temple Trees (Kollupitiya) and Official Residencies of the Secretary to the Ministry of Defense and the Commanders of Tri Forces were designated as high security zones.
Several parties including Bar Association of Sri Lanka expressed concern over the declaration of high security zones pointing out that the Official Secrets Act does not empower the President as Minister of Defense to declare large areas as High Security Zones.