Colombo, Sri Lanka, Feb 11, 2010 / 02:07 am
The recent presidential elections in Sri Lanka violated democratic boundaries through “willful violations” of election laws and did not address the concerns of the Tamil minority, Catholic and Anglican bishops in the country have said in a joint statement.
Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa won a landslide victory over former army chief Sarath Foneska in January’s “acrimonious” elections, according to Caritas. The election followed the government victory over the Tamil Tiger (LTTE) rebels.
Since the elections, Foneska has been arrested, parliament has been dissolved and parliamentary elections have been called for April. Riots have occurred in the capital and a journalist has disappeared.
A letter from the country’s Catholic and Anglican bishops said the elections disregarded the norms of democratic debate by focusing on “personal slander” and through perpetrating “willful violation of electoral laws.”