Tamil Diplomat

Friday Forum urges long term political solution

Friday Forum has appealed for long term political solution that will promote diversity, inclusivity and pluralism.

The Friday Forum’s statement states:

“The election showed us that Sri Lankans in all parts of the country, irrespective of ethnic or religious differences, united in their resolve to restore good governance and the rule of law and to resist authoritarianism. This provides a foundation on which the newly elected administration must build a new framework of democratic governance that promotes inclusivity, diversity and pluralism.

The election also shows that poverty and disadvantage have cut across all ethnic lines and people are looking for a better economic future.  It is imperative that the current government addresses the problems of economically disadvantaged groups including those affected by conflict and war, and natural disasters including floods and droughts.  While acknowledging that these problems are common to all throughout the country, those of the people in the North must be resolved on an urgent basis.  This includes restoration of land, resolution of the Indian trawler issue, resolution of the Chunnakam groundwater pollution problem, and a people-centred and inclusive development program in the context of a long term political solution for the region.

Right to information

“The Friday Forum is aware that implementing the 100 day program will not be easy, and that all necessary measures to restore a democratic framework cannot be carried out during this short time.  However we call upon the government to live up to public expectations in building an environment of transparency and good governance within this time.  In the aftermath of the elections, the media has been continuously reporting allegations of the abuse of authority, rampant corruption, illegal amassing of wealth and the plundering of the countries’ economic and other resources that took place in the last few years.  We ask that these reported instances of wrongdoing be addressed urgently and those found guilty be brought to book.  This must be done with strict adherence to legal procedures and in a transparent manner which wins public confidence.

We demand that both the State and the private media take a balanced, dignified and professional approach and present news with independence and integrity rather than serving the dictates of individuals.  We also call upon the government to ensure that the promise to enact a freedom of information law is fulfilled.”

“It is critically important that the trust and goodwill placed in the current administration by the people of Sri Lanka not be squandered but be used as the first step in re-building a truly democratic country.”