Declaration by university academics on the 2015 Presidential election

( December 15, 2014, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) 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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