While welcoming Saturday’s provincial council elections, British Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt called on the Sri Lankan authorities to investigate reports of intimidation and other allegations and to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice.
“I welcome the Sri Lankan provincial elections that took place on 21 September. Polls have been described as largely peaceful by Commonwealth and domestic observer missions, with high turnout across all three provinces. This demonstrates the desire of the Sri Lankan people to engage in this democratic process which ensures all provinces now have a council for the first time since the end of the military conflict,” he said in a statement.
He also said, “I note with concern the credible reports of the misuse of state resources for campaigning, incidents of intimidation, and violence in the run-up to elections. I call on the authorities to investigate these serious allegations and ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice.”
He also called on the Sri Lankan government and parties who won provincial seats to work together to contribute meaningfully to effective and inclusive regional governance in Sri Lanka. “The lasting reconciliation all Sri Lankans deserve cannot be delivered by these polls alone, but the elections remain an important step in recognising the rights and aspirations of all citizens,” he added.