(Text of Letter Sent by former Colombo District MP and Leader of the Democratic Peoples Front/Tamil Progressive Alliance Mano Ganesan to the Chairman of the Election Commission Mahinda Deshapriya Regarding the Holding of Parliamentary Elections while Sri Lanka coninues to face the Covid-19 Pandemic Threat)
Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte
Dear Mr. Chairman,
As you are aware as a nation, we are facing the Covid-19 crisis.
World Health Organization (WHO) characterized Covid-19 as ‘Pandemic’ on March 11th. Leader of the Opposition, speaking in the Parliament on-behalf of the majority of the Srilankan Parliamentarians, cautioned the government on Covid-19 twice; i.e., first on Jan 27 and later on Feb 5.
Hence, the civil and political society requested the present caretaker government to take appropriate actions to control the spread of the virus.
Despite all of the above, the present caretaker government prematurely dissolved the parliament on March 2nd and declared the dates for the nominations and elections.
This prompted hundreds of thousands of people to assemble at political party offices around the country to prepare for the nominations.
We thank the timely intervention of the Independent Election Commission, for declaring its inability to conduct free and fair elections on the stipulated date due to the prevailing conditions in the country.
Under these circumstances, we have come to know that the present caretaker government is considering holding the elections, before the end of May 2020 despite the questions regarding the purported constitutional authority held by His Excellency, The President, in this issue.
Therefore, we consider this as the second incorrect attempt by the present caretaker government after the March 02nd notification.
Here, as a recognized active political party, we endorse the contents of the joint statement issued by election monitoring organizations regarding to the dangers of prematurely conducting the general elections.
We request the Independent Election Commission to be mindful of the stand of the recognized political and civil society, including our party, demanding you not to extend support to the alleged attempts of the present caretaker government to hold the elections amidst the threats posed by the corona virus pandemic.
We believe that any constitutional crisis on the subjects of reconvening the dissolved 8th parliament and convening the new 9th parliament shall be addressed by the constitution of Sri Lanka, as interpreted by the Supreme Court.
This letter has been mailed to email@example.com in addition to being hand delivered. I will appreciate an acknowledgement.
Leader of Democratic People’s Front
Leader of Tamil Progressive Alliance
President of Democratic Worker’s Congress