Sri Lanka will have a Presidential election on the 8th January 2015. The candidates announced to date include the serving President, Mahinda Rajapaska, and Maithripala Sirisena, a former senior member of the President’s Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) who has left the Government in order to challenge the incumbent and who has the backing of several other opposition parties.
The Sri Lanka Campaign is a non-partisan organisation – we feel that, no matter who wins these elections, a lasting peace will only come once Sri Lanka’s culture of impunity is brought to an end, and that this can only be achieved when there is accountability for the serious war crimes that took place in 2009 and the serious violations of international law that have taken place since.
For this reason we will be limiting our comments on the election and the statements made by the parties and candidates. But there will be a wealth of good coverage from within Sri Lanka – provided the Government continues to allow it. The citizen journalism site Groundviews contains an abundance of news, analysis and comment on the elections.
We will however be watching the elections closely in the hope of dissuading the wave of violence which is often an accompaniment to elections in Sri Lanka, and in the hope that this will help efforts to ensure the result is fair and that it is respected – especially if things do not go the way of the military establishment. Sri Lankan and, hopefully, international monitors will also be active. You can follow the work of the primary monitoring groups – the CMEV, Paffrel and CaFFE – here.