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Sri Lankan Diaspora Group Calls for A Free and Fair Election

| The following statement issued by the Sri Lanka Reconciliation Forum Sydney

( January 5, 2014, Sydney, Sri Lanka Guardian)
The Sri Lanka Reconciliation Forum Sydney, which consists of people of all ethnicities and of different political views, is committed to building reconciliation between different Sri Lankan communities, through honest dialogue and by acknowledging the suffering of the past resulting from atrocities committed by all sides. Further, we also believe that for genuine healing of wounds to happen in Sri Lanka, democracy, the rule of law and the integrity of institutions, which have decayed over several decades, have to be restored and sustained.

While reconciliation and healing of wounds is relevant to all Sri Lankans affected by the war – living inside and outside the country - the agenda and process of building a sustainable peace within the country is something that has to be set and pursued by those living in Sri Lanka. We believe that progressive change is likely only through the initiatives of the people at the grass roots. The role of the expatriate and diaspora Sri Lankan communities is one of supporting progressive change happening within Sri Lanka. We believe that the process of rebuilding democratic institutions is likely to go well beyond the forthcoming presidential elections, as people of all ethnicities and religions continue to push for these changes. However, elections are an essential part of the democratic process and therefore should be treated with appropriate seriousness and respect. This election in particular has the potential to be the starting point for vitally needed administrative reforms in the future.

Thus, we call upon all candidates, particularly the candidate of the governing party and the common candidate of the joint opposition, to;
  • Make election promises that are realistic and achievable
  • Spell out clearly what administrative reforms they will implement, if they win, and articulate the process by which this will be achieved.
  • Be committed to the multi-ethnic, multi-religious and pluralist nature of the country and ensure that all election promises are consistent with ensuring the equality of all ethnic and religions groups.
  • Ensure that the election is free of any violence and intimidation.
  • Respect the freedom of the media through the election period and beyond.
  • To render all assistance possible to the public officials to carry out there duties in a non-partisan manner in order to ensure that the election is fair and free.
  • We call upon the Sri Lankan expatriate and diaspora communities - of all ethnic and religious origins - to come together to support the movement towards democracy in Sri Lanka, and contribute to the building of a democratic, multi-ethnic, multi-religious secular state.
Strand for political action

About SLRF: The Sri Lanka Reconciliation Forum (SLRF) is body of people drawn from different ethnicities and political views. Statements of the SLRF Political Strand are issued after extensive discussion and after the majority members of the Political Strand have given their endorsement. However, not every member of SLRF nor the Political Strand need not have endorsed this statement.

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