A Fundamental Rights petition is pending before the Supreme Court requesting a postponement of the presidential election until a determination is made on the length of the president’s term of office. The National Peace Council welcomes the Supreme Court’s decision to consider the case as soon as possible. We believe the continuing uncertainty about the holding of the presidential election is deeply harmful to the country in every aspect. It undermines faith in the democratic process in which free and fair elections that are held regularly is an indispensable element.

The unfortunate reality in Sri Lanka at the present time is that elections to two tiers of government, the local government and provincial councils, are overdue, the former by more than a year and the latter by over five years. Although parliamentary elections are not legally due until next year, we believe that general elections to obtain a fresh mandate ought to have taken place two years ago when public protests forced both the then president and government to resign and indicated a withdrawal of the mandate to them.

The National Peace Council notes that President Ranil Wickremesinghe has, on several occasions, confirmed that the presidential election will be held on schedule. The position that presidential elections are constitutionally due this year has also been reiterated also by the Elections Commission. As a veteran politician the president would understand acts done without transparency to delay elections for whatever reason are bound to take the country to a situation of unrest which will turn back all the gains of the past two years. The president will not be oblivious to the tragedies thrust on Sri Lankans as a result of postponing elections in the past.

The uncertainty about so fundamental an issue as elections also serves to undermine both domestic and international trust in Sri Lanka’s stability. There needs to be truth, consistency and transparency in governance which is crucial to maintaining belief in the stability of society so that investments made today can yield positive outcomes in the future. This is crucial to the economic recovery that the president has committed himself to. If Sri Lanka is to avoid repeating the crises of the past, tinkering with the constitution to postpone elections through the parliamentary majority or a particular interpretation of the law must be prevented forthwith.

Governing Council
The National Peace Council is an independent and non partisan organization that works towards a negotiated political solution to the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka. It has a vision of a peaceful and prosperous Sri Lanka in which the freedom, human rights and democratic rights of all the communities are respected. The policy of the National Peace Council is determined by its Governing Council of who are drawn from diverse walks of life and belong to all the main ethnic and religious communities in the country.

About us

The National Peace Council (NPC) was established as an independent and impartial national non-government organization