President Maithripala Sirisena has issued an order to transform the disposal of garbage by local government bodies into an essential service.
According to the President’s office, the gazette will come into effect form midnight April 20.The President has issued this gazette in accordance with section 17 of the Public Security Ordinance.
The gazette will encompass waste management activities by local government bodies including the collection, transportation, disposal and temporary storage of garbage.
Attempts made by any individual or group of persons to delay, obstruct, prevent, harm or threaten to harm persons or asset deployed for this purpose would constitute an offense.
Inciting the public to act out against waste management activities or influencing persons to not carry out their duties in waste management also constitutes a crime.
Through the gazette, the police has also been vested with the power to arrest persons who engage in these activites or are believed to have engaged in these activities without a warrant.
Persons found guilty of an offence under this gazette by a magistrate could face rigorous imprisonment.