Sri Lanka Brief
NewsUniversity Academics On The 2015 Presidential Election: Defeat The Suppression

University Academics On The 2015 Presidential Election: Defeat The Suppression

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[ A protest by University academics]

The presidential election has been announced and each of us will be called upon to exercise our vote as citizens of this country on the 8th of January 2015. It is our considered view that our country is at a historically important juncture at this moment and our decision at this election will have crucial implications for future generations. While we do not believe that all the changes we desire can be achieved overnight, or simply through a regime change, we believe strongly that this presidential election offers a window of opportunity to re-establish democracy, the rule of law and good governance and to address issues of social justice.

We note with extreme concern that in the past decade we have witnessed a breakdown of the rule of law and all norms of democracy and good governance and the concentration of both political and economic power in the hands of a few.

This has been particularly manifested in:

  • The unprecedented politicization of the judiciary and the manipulation of the judicial system which reached a crisis point with the unlawful impeachment of the former Chief Justice.
  • The political control over the police, lack of public accountability of the police force, and the alarming levels of human rights violations perpetrated by police personnel.
  • The intimidation of journalists and suppression of the free media
  • The breakdown of public institutions and services which are now mostly concentrated in the hands of the ruling elite. This breakdown has negatively impacted on our access to such institutions and services which is increasingly determined by the extent to which we can wield influence and power. It has further resulted in public servants being subject to political manipulations, and being victimized for daring to demonstrate any form of independence.
  • The politicization of universities which are struggling to function in an environment of poor governance, infringement of academic autonomy and lack of basic funding.
  • The widening gap between the rich and poor –The poor whose only source of health facilities and education is the public sector are increasingly pushed to the margin and into the hands of the private sector.
  • Increasing intolerance of ethnic, religious and cultural diversity– ethnic and religious intolerance is being cultivated shamelessly in an effort to maintain the hegemony of the ruling elite. Mistrust among communities and groups and the deterioration in the protection and rights of minorities has spiraled.
  • Corruption, bribery and waste in connection with economic projects and the creation of a politicized business Mafia.
  • Violation of election laws – the complete violation with impunity of election laws has resulted in the impossibility of conducting free and fair elections.

WE URGE OUR FELLOW CITIZENS TO CAREFULLY CONSIDER NOT ONLY THE ABOVE BUT ALSO THE FUTURE OF THE COUNTRY WHEN EXERCISING THEIR CIVIC DUTY. IT IS ONLY THE POWER OF THE PEOPLE THAT CAN ENSURE THE PROTECTION OF DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS. THE TIME HAS ARRIVED FOR EACH OF US TO ACT DECISIVELY IN THE NAME OF GENERATIONS TO COME AND CAST OUR VALUABLE VOTE FOR A CANDIDATE WHO HAS COMMITTED TO:

  • Undertake major constitutional reform that prioritizes but is not limited to the

o Abolishing of the Executive Presidency

o Abolishing of the 18th amendment that opens the door to Presidency for life

o Re-enactment of the 17th Amendment which ensured at least a modicum of independence of public institutions including the judiciary, the public service and the police.

  • Take concrete and meaningful measures to promote reconciliation and peace with justice and re-settle all displaced people in their places of origin.
  • Ensure that government allocates 6% GDP for Public Education and to put in place mechanisms to ensure the quality and standards of public education.
  • Substantially increase government spending on Public Health and to put in place mechanisms to ensure the quality and standards of public health.
  • Establish national policies on foreign relations, education, health and other important sectors and to ensure that these areas are served by professionals
  • Enact a Right to Information Act.
  • Protect media freedom.
  • Take measures to eliminate corruption, bribery, waste and the business Mafia.
  • Depoliticize the public services and business sector.
  • Establish good governance devoid of nepotism and abuse of power.

We also make a strong appeal to the Election Commissioner to ensure a free and fair election and to intervene forcefully to prevent the violation of election laws and ensure the safety of all parties concerned.

While we will exert pressure on those who are responsible to commit to these issues, we will continue to advocate for the implementation of these proposed constitutional and policy changes even after the presidential election.

NAME AFFILIATION
Prof. S. B. S. Abayakoon University of Peradeniya
Dr. Upul Abeyrathne University of Ruhuna
Mr. H. V. D. I. Abeywickrama University of Ruhuna
Dr. S. K. M. Ali University of Ruhuna
Dr. Chandana Aluthge University of Colombo
Dr. Liyanage Amarakeerthi University of Peradeniya
Dr. Harini Amarasuriya Open University of Sri Lanka
Ven. Uduhawara Ananda University of Colombo
Mr. P. T. K. Arachchige University of Ruhuna
Dr. A. K. S. Aramabawaththa University of Peradeniya
Prof. S.A Ariadurai Open University of Sri Lanka
Dr. Mojith Ariyaratne University of Peradeniya
Ven. T. Ariyawimala University of Ruhuna
Prof. D. Atapattu University of Ruhuna
Dr. S. Baduge University of Ruhuna
Prof. H. M. N. Bandara University of Peradeniya
Dr. S. Banneheke University of Peradeniya
Ms K Bulumulle Open University of Sri Lanka
Dr. D.P Chandima University of Moratuwa
Dr. A. J. M. Chandradasa University of Ruhuna
Mr. D. C. Chandrasiri University of Ruhuna
Prof. H. W. Cyril University of Peradeniya
Prof. Kumar David Formerly Hong Kong Polytechnic Univ.
Mr. W. K. R. Dayalatha University of Ruhuna
Mr. Ravi de Mel Open University of Sri Lanka
Dr. S. de Mel University of Peradeniya
Ms. D. M. R. Deepika University of Ruhuna
Prof G Delkumburewatte Open University of Sri Lanka
Dr. R. M. K. Deshapriya University of Peradeniya
Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri University of Colombo
Prof. W. P. S. Dias University of Moratuwa
Mr. D. D. Dias University of Peradeniya
Ms. M. G. M. Dilrukshi University of Ruhuna
Ms. P. K. C. Dinesha University of Ruhuna
Prof. Lakshman Dissanayake Univeristy of Colombo
Dr. G. Edirisinghe University of Ruhuna
Dr. W. P. D. Fernando University of Peradeniya
Prof Rohan Fernando Open University of Sri Lanka
Dr. Michael Fernando Formerly University of Peradeniya
Dr Theodore Fernando Open University of Sri Lanka
Prof. Lalith S. Fernando University of Sri Jayawardenapura
Mr. W. M. N. Fernando University of Sri Jayawardenapura
Dr. Anil Fernando University of Sri Jayawardenapura
Mr. Wijith Herath Fernando University of Kelaniya
Prof. E. A. G. Fonseka University of Ruhuna
Mr. Krishantha Fredricks University of Colombo
Mr. Kasun Gajasinghe University of Peradeniya
Dr. Ruwan Gallage University of Ruhuna
Mr. Indu Gamage University of Ruhuna
Ms. Lakmini Gamage University of Ruhuna
Dr V.V. Ganeshananthan Harvard University
Prof. Savitri Goonesekere Formerly University of Colombo
Mr. K. G. P. V. Gunarathna University of Ruhuna
Mr. R. R. P. K. Gunarathna University of Ruhuna
Dr. S. Gunarathne University of Peradeniya
Mr Chandika Gunasinghe University of Ruhuna
Mr. Ruvan Gunawardane University of Ruhuna
Dr. R. D. Guneratne University of Colombo
Prof. Camena Guneratne Open University of Sri Lanka
Prof. Dileni Gunewardena University of Peradeniya
Dr. Rangika Halwatura University of Moratuwa
Dr. Farzana Haniffa University of Colombo
Mr. E. H. M. Heenbanda University of Ruhuna
Mr. G. P. T. S. Hemakumara University of Ruhuna
Dr. K. R. B. Herath University of Peradeniya
Dr Shyamani Hettiarachchi University of Kelaniya
Dr S.R Hettiarachchi Open University of Sri Lanka
Dr. N. K. Hettiarachchi University of Ruhuna
Dr. J. Hewage University of Ruhuna
Prof. P. Hewage University of Ruhuna
Dr. Rajan Hoole University of Jaffna
Dr. Kirupa Hoole University of Jaffna
Mr J.H.S.K. Jayamaha Open University of Sri Lanka
Ms. R. Jayaneththi University of Peradeniya
Mr. G. G. Jayarathne University of Moratuwa
Dr. T. Jayasingham Eastern University of Sri Lanka
Dr. R. D. Jayasinghe University of Peradeniya
Dr. Prabhath Jayasinghe University of Colombo
Dr. R. Jayasinghe University of Peradeniya
Dr. Vajira Jayasinghe University of Peradeniya
Dr. B. C. Jayawardana University of Peradeniya
Prof. U. de. S. Jayawardena University of Peradeniya
Dr. Janaki Jayawardena Univeristy of Colombo
Dr. Ananda Jayawickrama University of Peradeniya
Ms. H. A. C. Jeewanthi University of Ruhuna
Dr. Silan Kadirgamar University of Jaffna
Mr. S. Kahandagamage University of Ruhuna
Dr. Pavithra Kailasapathy University of Colombo
Dr. D. Karunanayake University of Peradeniya
Mr. M. S. M. Karunarathne University of Ruhuna
Dr. A. H. G. K. Karunaraththna University of Sri Jayawardenapura
Mr. A. C. Karunaratna University of Ruhuna
Dr. D. G. G. P. Karunaratne University of Peradeniya
Mr. Nandasiri Keembiyahetti University of Ruhuna
Prof G. Keerawella University of Peradeniya
Dr. S.I. Keethaponcalan University of Salisbury
Dr. S. P. Kodituwakku University of Peradeniya
Dr. Shamala Kumar University of Peradeniya
Prof. Vijay Kumar Formerly University of Peradeniya
Prof. N. S. Kumar Formerly University of Peradeniya
Dr. Kumudu Kusum Kumara University of Colombo
Mr. W. A. M. Kumara University of Ruhuna
Dr. P. A. P.S. Kumara University of Ruhuna
Prof. Amal S. Kumarage University of Moratuwa
Dr. Pivithuru Kumarasinghe University of Sri Jayawardenapura
Mr. W. M. R. Laksiri University of Ruhuna
Mrs. R. Liyanage University of Peradeniya
Prof. R. P. Mahaliayanaarachchi Sabaragamuwa University
Mr. R. Maheswaran University of Peradeniya
Ven.Dr. U. Mahinda University of Ruhuna
Dr. D. H. S. Maithripala University of Peradeniya
Ven. Makola Mangala University of Ruhuna
Dr. A. Manipura University of Peradeniya
Mr. S. Mantillake University of Peradeniya
Ms. Prabha Manuratne University of Kelaniya
Dr. A. L. M. Mauroof University of Peradeniya
Dr. Vivimarie V. Medwattegedera Open University of Sri Lanka
Dr. Madhava Meegaskumbura University of Peradeniya
Dr. R. Meegaskumbura University of Peradeniya
Prof. Nayani Melagoda Univeristy of Colombo
Dr. Mahim Mendis Open University of Sri Lanka
Dr. Iresha Mendis University of Peradeniya
Dr N. Morais Open University of Sri Lanka
Mr. M. S. Nanayakkara University of Ruhuna
Dr. B. G. T. L. Nandasena University of Peradeniya
Prof. A. M. Navaratna Bandara University of Peradeniya
Dr Vasuki Nesiah New York University
Mr. S. N. Niles University of Moratuwa
Prof. Mahesan Niranjan University of Southampton
Mr. K. S. G. S. Nishantha University of Ruhuna
Prof. M. A. Nuhman University of Peradeniya
Prof. Gananath Obeyesekere Formerly Princeton University
Prof. Ranjini Obeyesekere Formerly Princeton University
Dr. R. Palamakumbura University of Peradeniya
Mr. W. A. Palitha University of Ruhuna
Dr. R. W. Pallegama University of Peradeniya
Dr. Gihan Panagoda University of Peradeniya
Mr. Upali Pannilage University of Ruhuna
Prof. A. Parakrama University of Peradeniya
Dr. M. P. Paranagama University of Peradeniya
Dr. Dharmasena Pathiraja Formerly Univeristy of Colombo
Prof. S. D. Pathirana University of Peradeniya
Mr. L. K. K. Peiris University of Ruhuna
Dr. H. R. D. Peiris University of Peradeniya
Dr. P. Perera University of Peradeniya
Mr. K. E. D. Perera University of Ruhuna
Dr M.E.R Perera Open University of Sri Lanka
Prof. Kapila Perera University of Moratuwa
Dr. Himan Punchihewa University of Moratuwa
Dr. D. D. J. Punchihewa University of Sri Jayawardenapura
Mr. A. Rajapaksha University of Peradeniya
Mr. W. P. S. Rajapaksha University of Ruhuna
Prof. R. M. G. Rajapakshe University of Peradeniya
Prof. Dharma Rajapakshe University of Ruhuna
Mr. K. H. Ramanayake University of Ruhuna
Dr. H. Rambukwella Open University of Sri Lanka
Mr. R. A. S. P. Ranabahu University of Ruhuna
Dr. D. Randeniya University of Peradeniya
Mr. S. Rasnayake University of Peradeniya
Mr. R. M. D. D. Rathnayake University of Ruhuna
Mr Sithumini Ratnamalala University of Moratuwa
Dr. A. C. Ratnaweera University of Peradeniya
Dr. Prasanna Ratnaweera Open University of Sri Lanka
Mr. Rohana Ratnayake Open University of Sri Lanka
Dr. Anura Ratnayake University of Ruhuna
Mr. L. K. G. Roshana University of Ruhuna
Dr. A. J. Ruhunuhewa University of Ruhuna
Dr. T. S. Samarakoon University of Peradeniya
Attoney-at-Law D. Samararatne University of Colombo
Prof. Gameela Samarasinghe University of Colombo
Ms. Tanuja Sandanayake University of Moratuwa
Mr. A. P. Santhasiri University of Ruhuna
Dr. I. M. S. Sathyaprasad University of Peradeniya
Dr. Nihal Senanayake Open University of Sri Lanka
Mr. G. Senarath University of Ruhuna
Dr. Hiniduma Sunil Senevi Sabaragamuwa University
Prof. K. G. S. C. Seneviratne University of Peradeniya
Prof. Rev. Agalakada Sirisumana Univeristy of Colombo
Dr. S. Sivamohan University of Peradeniya
Dr. Daya Somasundaram University of Jaffna
Dr. H. P. Sooriyaarachchi University of Ruhuna
Dr. H. N. S. Soysa University of Peradeniya
Dr. B. M. Sumanaratne University of Ruhuna
Mr. Chandraguptha Thenuwara University of Visual and Performing Arts
Dr. Sharika Thiranagama University of Stanford
Mr. Dayapala Thiranagama Formerly University of Kelaniya
Prof. Asanga Tilakaratne University of Colombo
Dr. N. D. Udagama University of Peradeniya
Dr. D. Udakara University of Peradeniya
Dr. Anura Uthunmange University of Sri Jayawardenapura
Prof. Jayadeva Uyangoda Univeristy of Colombo
Dr. Vidura Vithana University of Ruhuna
Prof. Manjula Vithanapathirana University of Colombo
Dr. L. D. Sarath Vitharana University of Kelaniya
Ven. N. Wajiraghana University of Ruhuna
Prof. K. S. Walgama University of Peradeniya
Dr. S. K. Wanniarachchi University of Ruhuna
Prof. S. Wawwage University of Ruhuna
Dr H.L.D Weerahewa Open University of Sri Lanka
Prof. Ruwan Weerasekera University of Moratuwa
Dr. A. R. Weerasinghe University of Colombo
Prof. P. Wickramagamage University of Peradeniya
Prof. C. S. Wickramagamage University of Peradeniya
Prof. Maithri Wickramasinghe University of Kelaniya
Dr. J. V. Wijayakulasooriya University of Peradeniya
Ms. Gayatri Wijekoon University of Peradeniya
Mr. S. Wijeratne University of Ruhuna
Mr. Wimal Wijesinghe University of Ruhuna
Mr. W. A. N. D. Wijesinghe University of Ruhuna
Mr. T. R. Wijesundara University of Ruhuna
Dr. Tilak Wijesundara University of Ruhuna
Prof. R. L. Wijeyeweera University of Peradeniya
Mr. N. A. Wimalasena University of Peradeniya
Mr. P. H. Wimalasiri University of Ruhuna
Mr B.D. Witharana Open University of Sri Lanka
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