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DEMOCEACY ENDANGERED IN SRI LANKA

It is known to everyone that United National Party(UNP) which ruled the country for 17 years from 1977 to 1994 ruined the democratic system of our country. They ruled the country postponing the elections, violating the election regulations in a mass scale. Their regime attacked peaceful demonstrations, banned workers’ strikes, banned political parties and suspended workers from their work places. At the end of this anti democratic regime’s period, the lives of more than 60000 people were robbed away.

In 1994 the people of the country strives hard to defeat the UNP and bring the People’s Alliance into power in order to reinstate democracy that had been ruined by the UNP. The main election promises given by the PA was to restore democracy and not to violate it. They promised to abolish executive presidency, to hold free and fair elections and not to postpone elections.

But after the PA came into power they started to break these promises one by one. Local govt. Elections was postponed on several occasions. However at last the govt. had to hold these elections in 1997due to growing dissatisfaction among masses about the govt. They did not carry out the promises given to the people that the executive presidency would be abolished before 15th of July 1995. But they used executive powers to desolve several provincial councils illegally. The supreme courts declared this as illegal with a red light to the govt. anti democratic and anti-constitutional acts. But their misdeed didn’t come to an end. The Provincial Council elections that were to be held in last August for 5 provinces were postponed using executive presidential power. The Supreme Court again declared that postponement is illegal since violation of constitutional regulations. It further ordered the PA govt. to fix a date for the postponed polls immediately.

The PA govt. recently involved in destroying democracy at the provincial polls at Northwest by election violence and rigging. Armed thugs of PA were brought to polling stations under the patronage of govt. ministers and regional leaders. They assaulted voters, attacked polling agents of opposition parties and stuffed ballot boxes openly. During the election campaign too PA supporters traveled in the vehicles that did not have numberplates. They continuously threatened and assaulted opposition candidates and supporters. They threatened the voters and the thug politics mocked at the democratic elections. Even now govt. supporters are involved in violation of election rules. They have continued in their assault at JVP supporters on several occasions. Thus they are planning to rig in the forthcoming provincial council polls, which are scheduled to be held on the 6th of April. It is evident that the govt. is trying to hide their malpractice and violence by framing the opposition parties into the Election Observations Committee.

On these grounds, it is certain that the PA govt. is engaged in the process of ruining the prevailing limited aspects of democracy in Sri Lanka. The highest point of the govt. anti democratic path was the Northwestern(Wayamba) Polls. Since democracy and democratic forces in Sri Lanka are in danger, it is the duty of national and international forces to come forward in order to safeguard democratic rights of the people in Sri Lanka.