A leading human rights group has said that real issues in Sri Lanka such as state reform, devolution and reconciliation have given way to an election campaign turning on bashing the other side as traitors.
The award winning University Teachers for Human Rights (UTHR) said in a report released today that while one side uses state power in the polls campaign to undermine democratic fair play, political discourse is being narrowed in the other side simply to defend Sarath Fonseka.
“The present the regime saw the war victory as means to consolidate power. A desperate opposition, crediting General Fonseka as the chief author of the victory, sees in him its one hope for ‘regime change’. The virulent campaign rhetoric reveals the desperation of both sides. One side uses state power to undermine democratic fair play. In the other, political discourse is being narrowed, simply to defend Sarath Fonseka.
More disturbing from the country’s standpoint is that real issues such as state reform, devolution and reconciliation have given way to an election campaign turning on bashing the other side as traitors. Fonseka, according to the Government became a ‘traitor’ or ‘betrayer’ for letting out an ‘official secret’ about the killing of surrendees. The JVP, which supports Fonseka is no less an expert in the ‘traitor’ game,” UTHR said in its report.