In Kandy, the DIRC organized a press conference to ask politicians and their supporters not to promote racism, engage in violence or be involved in corruption and other unethical practices.
Reporters from the main TV and radio stations and newspapers attended the conference. Speakers included Ven Dr Etipola Mangala Thero, Bishop Kumara Illangasinghe, Moulavi Sadakathulla and Kurukkal Ajan.
The DIRC also organized a demonstration in the city after the conference to display banners carrying positive messages and to distribute leaflets to raise awareness on how to use the vote to elect proper candidates to local government bodies.
“We accept that now we have freedom and democracy in our country. But have we got the system of governance that we hoped for in 2015? That is the problem. All the political party leaders and candidates should distance themselves from racism and religious extremism,” Bishop Illangasinghe said.
In the Kurunegala district about 40 DIRC members, including religious leaders, distributed leaflets and displayed slogans in five towns to educate the public on voting for clean candidates. The leaflets explained that ethnic and religious discrimination was going on in the district and stressed the need for coexistence and reconciliation. They urged voters to reject candidates who advocated racism and supported discrimination and were involved in corruption.
The public response was enthusiastic and many people wanted to have a further dialogue with the DIRC to discuss the issues that were raised.