Over 100 artists, intellectuals and social activists have made a public appeal calling upon the government as well as opposition political parties to make a change in the prevalent governance system.
Among those who have signed the appeal includes Dr. Dharmasena Pathiraja, Dharmasiri Bandaranayake, Professor Kumar David, Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri, Gamini Viyangoda and Prasanna Vithanage. Pointing out the dangers of the direction in which the country is presently heading, they have called for a change in the prevalent system.
The petition has listed out the following points to elaborate on the worrisome state of the country:
- Despite the rapid development, the high interest loans that fund such projects have heavily burdened the public and has incurred detrimental impacts to the economic progress of the country
- Problematic state of the inter-racial and inter-religious relations
- Although five years have passed since the end of the war, residents of the North and East are still deprived of their fundamental rights and are instead pushed into a heavily militarised society
- Rising anti-Muslim sentiments in the country resulting in the tragedy of Aluthgama
- Deteriorating state of the public health and education systems
- Sorry state of the rule of law in Sri Lanka that has resulted in the country transforming into a state rampant with crimes
- Human rights situation falling to new lows
- Contortion of the constitution and the governance system of the country
The concerned artistes and intellectuals have pointed out the present situation is a result of the irregularities in the governance system and the societal structure.
“As a group keen to see a better tomorrow for this country, we request the government, its ally parties as well as the opposition parties to oust the corrupt, irregular and complicated societal structure and governance system and ensure it is transformed into a system that is accepted by the public where the Executive Presidency is replaced by a new democratic governance system that would reinstate the public confidence in the governance structure,” the appeal statement reads.
The statement furthermore stresses that the new governance system should:
- Provide equal rights and opportunities to all communities and religions
- Guarantee people’s right to information
- Reject corruption, inefficiency,oppression and dictatorship
- Reprimand exploitation of power
- Ensure an equal distribution of centric political power between the central government and its peripheral entities
- Uphold the rule of law
- Constructive return of the power of the people’s mandate
Read the full statement here