Minister Johnston Fernando, the Chief Government Whip, has denounced the request made by the leading medical organizations in Sri Lanka to be locked down for 14 consecutive days on a scientific basis saying “we cannot adhere to the advice given by Colombo 07 people.”
Speaking at a media briefing at the Government Information Department today, he noted that the President has to look at the decisions as a whole, not just what one party says. Minister Johnston Fernando stated that closing the country for 14 consecutive days is a very difficult task considering the economy of the people of the country.
Speaking further Minister Johnston Fernando said
“At a time when the world is being challenged, His Excellency the President as the President appointed by the people must decide with the whole country in mind. We have seen medical associations making this request in front of the media today. Minister Sudarshani also called for the closure of the country not as a minister but as a doctor. The president must look at the whole thing. That is why we close the few days to see what happens. We can’t do what the people of Colombo 7 are saying or what those who have money are saying. We have to look after the poor people and keep it open until Tuesday and close until Friday. . What will happen if it closes like that? Therefore, the President took action in this regard after consulting the doctors holding key posts. He spends hours to give the best solution. Let’s see how it goes. We should not be afraid to face this.
However, the minister’s statement was challenged by a journalist. When the journalist pointed out that the proposal made by the medical professionals on a scientific background to lock down the country should not be logged as a group of Colombo 7, he stated that he was not talking about those doctors. He said that neither he nor the government would take divisive action against the doctors and that a decision would be taken according to the situation before the Minister.