Deconfinement in France to brave the future despite Covid 19
Posted on May 7th, 2020

By Charles S.Perera

The Prime Minister  Edouard Philippe of France announced today that the first stage of  de-confinement of the French people who had been in confinement since 17 March,2020, will begin from 11 May 2020. People are allowed to leave their homes and go for a distance of 100km from their homes without having a certificate of leaving home for a specific purpose. 

France which had been an unfortunate victim of the Corona pandemic with 137 779 covid-19 affected persons; and 25 987 deaths from the virus has decided to open the country to commence economic activities to revitalise its economy. Some enterprises have commenced work and others may follow.  The Commercial Centres are open. Even lakes and beaches may open subject restrictions imposed by the relevant authorities.

Those who venture out of homes should wear  masks. The public transport is opened under conditions of keeping the required physical distansing, specifying special hours for  office and other workers.. The Restaurants and Bars are to be kept closed. The Schools will still not be opened, though some schools and colleges may open by the 18th May. The places of worship will remain closed. 

If one is ill  and suspects having the Corona Virus then he should call  a Doctor. It is only if one has fever and difficulty in breathing that one should telephone No.15. There are no Centres of Confinement as in Sri Lanka. One has to restrict oneself to self confinement, (until one recovers or dies). What is in bracket I have added as the Government is not specific. 

It is only now that the government  seems to be collecting information with regard to contacts and associates of persons affected by the virus.  For a long time there was a dearth of masks and whatever was available were meant for the medical professionals.  

Now the Government says that every one should wear a mask. Though the Government says that the  elderly and the invalids should be given masks free, they are not available even in Pharmacies. However some pharmacies  sell hand made masks for about Rs.1500,00 each.  

The elderly have to go to do their own shopping or  buy their medicine in pharmacies. There are no ambulant traders going from door to door to sell  consumer articles or even bread to the people remaining in confinement. France is unable to imagine such facilities. All those good services happen only in Sri Lanka. 

France has money to look after its people living in fear of Covid-19 better than it is doing now.  The Army and the Police have been mobilised by the government, but we in some parts of France do not see the Army and Police carrying out any special work in these parts of  France. The Army and Police personnel are not as kind, polite and serviable as they are in Sri Lanka. 

What is striking here is that the government calls a press conference and allows the journalists to pose questions.  The Opposition political parties do not carry vicious campaigns against the Government criticising the Government  for the way it is managing the Covid-19.  The Political parties do not interfere into the activities taken by the government in its fight against Covid-19. 

This is a lesson for the politicians of Sri Lanka who instead of helping  with the excellent work the President and his government  is doing to meet the situation in difficult circumstances keep urging the Government in different forums  in the TV to recall the Parliament that had been Constitutionally dissolved by the President of Sri Lanka. Why recall a dissolved parliament, when the President has the necessary laws which had been passed before to deal with any situation arising in the cause of  attending to the pandemic situation. 

Some parliamentarians  not satisfied being left outside the limelight have even filed action in courts to find out whether they could find a legal means to get the President to recall the dissolved parliament. One cannot say what decision the Courts would take  considering an earlier case where a President had dissolved the  parliament rightly under article 33 of the Constitution,  and the Courts overlooking the Article 33,had ruled that the President  has no power  to dissolve the Parliament until the end of four and half years. 

The Article 33 showed a way out of a most undemocratic situation of an article introduced by the Government to the Constitution that   deprived  the President from dissolving the Government before the end of four and half years even when  the Prime Minister and the government had lost the trust of the people.  There the Courts deprived democracy” to function for four and a half years.

Let us hope that the President and the Government in Sri Lanka with the Medical Services and Armed Forces will be able to continue the good work it is doing to fight the Covid -19, until it calls for an  election to have a new Parliament.

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