The National Christian Council of Sri Lanka (NCCSL)
Our country Sri Lanka will yet again enter into a crucial period of her history with the forthcoming Parliamentary General Elections scheduled for 05 August 2020, where the mind of her citizens will be sought in determining the ‘way forward’ as a nation.
The National Christian Council of Sri Lanka (NCCSL) in acknowledging the paramount importance of a citizens’ right to vote, calls upon all voters to exercise their rights with due deliberation and responsibility. We wish to place the following before the people for due consideration and prayerful action.
· The persons elected should ensure responsible governance securing the ‘rights and aspirations’ of all people to live in dignity and equality. Considering the multi-ethnic and multi-religious character of our nation, it becomes grossly imperative that the leadership in governance be fully conscious of this reality and by example commit and display with responsible action to uphold values of diversified co-existence without discrimination. We recall that the introduction of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution was to address the reasonable demands of the Tamil people with respect to language rights and devolution of power.
" The persons elected should ensure responsible governance securing the ‘rights and aspirations’ of all people to live in dignity and equality"
Environment and Land are vital resources that are needed for enrichment of life and development of any country. Hence on such matters relating to life and living, we, as responsible citizens should seek a leadership that will protect the environment, secure life and sustain the rightful use of land for the benefit of the people in general.
· The separation of powers as vested in the Legislature, Judiciary and the Executive is an essential pre-requisite for a vibrant democracy and the Rule of Law with the necessary checks and balances in governance. As eligible voters, we should ensure that these important constitutional principles are neither compromised nor diluted, but rather promoted and strengthened.
· We note that the 19th Amendment to the Constitution that was adopted with the overwhelming support of Members of Parliament across the political divide in 2015 was introduced to curtail the excessive powers of the Executive Presidency, strengthen the powers of the Legislature, the important Independent Commissions and the Right to Information; which has in recent years promoted public accountability and empowered the citizenry.
· Given the issue of the ‘pandemic’ and in this context, we call upon the voting population that whilst taking every effort to exercise their right to vote, they be conscious to adhere to stipulated health guidelines in combating the deadly virus. We commend the Elections Commission for its commitment to conduct a free and fair election in such challenging circumstances and assure its members of our prayers and support in the weeks ahead.
It is our hope and prayer that the said election will be conducted in a peaceful manner and will lead the ‘voter’ to discern and act wisely to elect a responsible Parliament who will collectively promote the ‘right to life and peace and unity’ in our beloved country.