- Political situation is specifically in a state of uncertainty due to the dissolution of Parliament and absence of conditions conducive to hold the parliamentary election as stipulated
Key opposition parties have signed a letter extending their support to the government in the fight against coronavirus. They also urged the government to reconvene Parliament.
In a 10-point letter, opposition parties including the United National Party (UNP), Tamil National Alliance (TNA), Tamil Progressive Alliance (TPA) and Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) said against the backdrop of a public health crisis caused by COVID-19 and steps taken by governments to control it, a range of new challenges had emerged in Sri Lanka.
They noted that, regrettably, the optimism that prevailed in the country until a few days ago that the spread of the virus could be managed was now receding.
The joint statement notes that if further spread of the pandemic is not decisively halted in the coming few weeks, the country will face the risk of the prevailing public health crisis being compounded by crisis situations in the economic, social and political spheres too.
The statement notes: “We are concerned that several hundreds have been infected; several thousands have lost their livelihood. Frontline health workers are putting their best efforts to protect us risking their own safety. Their efforts should not go in vain because of our political decisions. The political situation is specifically in a state of uncertainty due to the dissolution of Parliament and absence of conditions conducive to hold the parliamentary election as stipulated. There is also no assurance that the election could now be held on June 20. The new date was determined by the Elections Commission only a few days ago. The commission has already indicated that this will have to be reviewed against the evolving public health situation in the country.
“We can reasonably assume that no suitable environment is likely to prevail in the next two months to conduct a free and fair election. Similarly, we do not think the people of our country should be exposed to the unnecessary danger of a public health hazard by holding an election anytime soon.”