Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga yesterday has appealed to the nation to seize the opportunity for change and work towards ridding the country of hatred, intolerance, inequality, lies, corruption, nepotism and bad governance.
“The prevailing violence and the breakdown in law and order poses a serious challenge to democracy, democratic institutions and values, as well as all the basic freedoms we cherish and have protected with great sacrifice over the centuries,” the former President has said in a statement.
“I know of no better system of government than that founded and formed on democracy and freedom,” the statement went on to say. “This implies the guarantee of freedom, the right to think and express these thoughts freely, and to act freely within the law of one’s country.
“It also implies the peoples’ freedom to choose who should govern them through free and fair elections. Willfully denying and violating these rights would ring the death knell of the nation,” the statement added.
The former President has also called upon the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) to stay true to the party’s ideals.
“The most important of these are democratic values, respect for fundamental human freedoms, for decency and non-violence, for honesty and lack of corruption. These values are the foundation on which our party has built its popularity, gained the people’s confidence, and remained for long periods in government,” the statement added.
“Let us do all that is needed in the next few days to ensure a free and fair election, in which we will guarantee every one’s right to vote with out fear. We have been shocked out of our silence by the unprecedented statement from the Commissioner for Elections that he would withdraw from his responsibilities, if the government and its leaders continue to blatantly violate his directives.”
She also called upon the government to instruct the police and other authorities to check the escalating violence.