Sunday, March 6, 2016
Couples Barred From Entering Colombo Independence Square ?
A video shared on social media shows several security officers at the Independence Square in Colombo arguing with a couple in an attempt to evict them from its premises.
"Me and my girlfriend were just sitting and chilling at Independence square and these idiots came and said that it was culturally wrong for a male and female to sit together at a public space. According to these idiots we have to have a child with us to sit together at independence square. I urge all you lovers or couples to go there and do the same. Lets see what these idiots do again", Mirshad Buckman, who shared the video on Facebook said.
According to the exchange seen in the video, it is apparent that the young couple was merely sitting there when the security officials asked them to leave. The security officials are unable to describe any ‘wrongful act’ made by the couple and claim that they are merely carrying out the orders of the Cultural Affairs Department. Any query regarding the regulation barring couples from sitting together at the Independence Square have to be made to the Department, they say. The security officers are unable to give a coherent answer when the young woman asks if males and females have to stay separate in public places in Sri Lanka. They once again maintain that the question has to be asked from the Cultural Department.
A silent protest is to be held within the Independence Square limited against the Cultural Affairs Ministry's decision to bar "couples" from sitting together at the Independence Square.
The protest will start on Sunday (March 06) at 4 pm. Those who wish to take part in the protest are requested to be present at the venue with a loved one or a friend. The protest will be held under the theme "Occupy the Square".
The Facebook page launched in support of the protest says any concerned citizen is welcome to take part in the protest, with a loved one or a friend. The protest comes in the wake of the video shared on social media on Saturday showing three security officers ordering a couple to leave the Independence Square as they sat together at the venue in violation of the rules and regulations imposed by the cultural Affairs Ministry.
The security officers are unable to describe any ‘wrongful act’ made by the couple and claim that they are merely carrying out the orders of the Cultural Affairs Department. Any query regarding the regulation barring couples from sitting together at the Independence Square have to be made from the Department, they say. The move came under severe criticism on social media platforms as it was in stark violation of Fundamental Rights granted to citizens by the country's constitution.