Four months old baby in Sri Lanka police wanted list

Police in Sri Lanka have made history in issuing mug shots of children including a four month old baby boy on a wanted list.

Journalists and media outlets readily published those photographs of the kids who have been accused of evading quarantine measures when entering the country from Italy, the country with the most recorded Covid-19 deaths.

One website sponsored by a powerful minister under President Gotabaya Rajapaksa ran the police notice with the headline “Here are the Italian Corona bombs evading quarantine measures”. 

“The people in this list are wanted to be handed over for quarantine for not providing information for quarantine when they arrived in this country from Italy,” said the notice issued to the media by police headquarters.

Wide publicity

It further requested journalists to publish the accompanying photographs of nine children and three adults, “to identify these people”. The youngest of them had been born in October last year according to the information made available by the police.

Several senior journalists working in local and international media have complied with the police request by widely publishing the photographs.

The journalists or police have not made clear how the easily identifiable children will be protected from harm by members of the public who have increasingly become unfriendly towards those suspected of coming to contact with the coronavirus.

Earlier, army commander Shavendra Silva who heads the national Coronavirus National Operations Center, announced that the security forces are monitoring of 15,000 Sri Lankans who have arrived in Sri Lanka since the outbreak of the deadly virus.

(Notice distributed by police. JDS has redacted the faces of children for their safety / Lead photo: Lakruwan Wanniarachchi/AFP)



Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka

  • JDS is the Sri Lankan partner organization of international media rights group, Reporters Without Borders (RSF). The launching of this website was made possible by the EU’s European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR), of which Reporters Without Borders is a beneficiary.