Sri Lanka Brief
NewsSri Lanka: Priority must be given to the safety and the health of the people instead of holding the elections.- TNA

Sri Lanka: Priority must be given to the safety and the health of the people instead of holding the elections.- TNA

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“A Pandemic has afflicted the whole world including Sri Lanka – It would be unwise for the people to risk any form of exposure to the pandemic. Current restrictions to a substantial extent, prevent such exposure. Relaxing restrictions and an electoral process taking place could greatly enhance the risk of exposure to the Danger. Provisions in the Constitution and the Parliamentary Election Laws – enable alternative steps / Priority must be given to the safety and the health of the people. Only then will the sovereign people be able to protect Democracy.” emphasises Tamil National Alliance issuing a statement.

ILLANKAI TAMILARRASU KADCHI (ITAK)
STATEMENT PERTAINING TO PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION 2O2O

1. Parliament has been dissolved.

2. Dates have been fixed for Parliamentary General Elections to be held to elect the new Parliament and for the first meeting of the new Parliament.

3. The fulfillment of 2 above is dependent upon the people in whom sovereignty is vested being able to democratically and freely exercise their franchise one of the components of the sovereignty of the people and thereafter exercise the other two components of sovereignty vested in the people – Powers of Governance and Fundamental Rights. The three organs of Government the Legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary – on behalf of the sovereign people exercise the sovereignty vested in the people in the different fields of governance Legislative, Executive and Judicial.

4. Unfortunately, the History of Sri Lanka has been that the Sovereignty of the people has not been respected – Elections held enable Political parties and Governments to come into power – but the verdict of the people at such Elections are not respected or observed. The following two instances

a. Since 1956 the Tamil people of the North and the East have overwhelmingly voted for constitutional changes in the structure of Governance enabling greater sharing of the powers of governance – in a multi-ethnic, multilingual, multi-cultural pluralistic society. Despite commitments by major political parties and different governments, the consistent verdict of the Tamil people has not been respected or observed for over six (6) decades – Are the Government and major political parties prepared to make a public commitment that if the Tamil people of the North and East deliver a similar verdict at the forthcoming Parliamentary Elections, the Powers of Governance would be restructured – so as to be consistent with such a verdict.

b. Since l994, the country has voted for the abolition of the Executive Presidency and successive incumbent Presidents and Presidential candidates have committed themselves to the abolition of the Executive Presidency. This was largely because the Executive presidency was clearly indicating dictatorial tendencies – Has the verdict of the people been respected. Political parties and Governments come into power primarily to feather their own nests and democratic verdicts of the people in whom Sovereignty is vested are totally violated’ Such Elections do no good to anyone, certainly not to the country or the people and only lead the country further into the mire, Persons responsible for Governing will do well to be aware of the dangers.

5. It is also relevant to emphasize that the dissolved Parliament unanimously adopted a Resolution in relation to (1) The Executive Presidency (2) Parliamentary Electoral Reforms (3) Sharing of Powers of Governance -the National Question. Though much work was done, the process was not completed. Resolving the National Question is a process that was commenced in 1991 -during President R. Premadasa’s term as President, continued during President Chandrika Bandaranayke’s term as President, continued thereafter during President Mahinda Rajapakse’s terms as president and thereafter as per the unanimous resolution of the dissolved parliament during President Maithripala Sirisena’s term as President and Mr. Ranil Wicramasinghe’s term as Prime Minister This process of resolving the National Question through constitutional arrangements pertaining to the sharing of the powers, governance has lasted almost thirty (30) years under several successive Presidents and Governments during which period – substantial consensus was reached. What remains to be done is for the process to be brought to a reasonable and satisfactory conclusion, on the basis of a substantial consensus.

6. The Constitution of the country, however, requires that Elections must be held as stipulated. If Elections are held there must be free and unfettered participation of the sovereign people.

7. A Pandemic has afflicted the whole world including Sri Lanka – It would be unwise for the people to risk any form of exposure to the pandemic. Current restrictions to a substantial extent, prevent such exposure. Relaxing restrictions and an electoral process taking place could greatly enhance the risk of exposure to the Danger. Provisions in the Constitution and the Parliamentary Election Laws – enable alternative steps / Priority must be given to the safety and the health of the people. Only then will the sovereign people be able to protect Democracy.

R. SAMPANTHAN
Leader Tamil National Alliance

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