Sri Lanka Reconciliation Forum – Sydney
PRESS RELEASE: INFOGRAPHICS ON SRI LANKAN ELECTION PROMISES BETWEEN PARTIES: THE STATE OF PLAY
The Sri Lanka Reconciliation Forum (SLRF), Sydney wishes to present a snapshot comparison of election manifestos issued to the general public in Sri Lanka by some of the major political parties. This document has been compiled by sourcing publicly available material put out by the political parties of Sri Lanka, and it does not represent the views of the SLRF.
The Sri Lanka Reconciliation Forum Sydney is an independent, non-partisan, not-for-profit organisation that aims to facilitate free and meaningful dialogue between different ethnic groups within the Sri Lankan Diaspora in New South Wales, Australia.
We believe that genuine reconciliation can only take place within a framework of truth and justice and dialogue. It is this core belief that underpins our strength in unity through diversity.
Besides the intention of making available some of the key elements of the manifestos available in English in a more reader friendly and comparative manner, (in context where we have no access to majority of the election manifestos in all three languages) the SLRF hopes that this comparison will lead to further analysis and precipitate discussions within and outside Sri Lanka, amongst the Diaspora, about the manifestos, and it ultimately results in a process that would hold the political parties accountable to their promises.
Considering there is much skepticism about election promises made and promises not upheld once in power, the SLRF hopes that individuals as well as civil society organisations and the media will take a lead in doing in depth evaluations of what is contained in manifestos, including a process to independently cost the promises made, and pose questions to the different political parties how the intend meeting such costs.
Using these comparative documents to undertake a fuller analysis even at this late stage, we hope the media of Sri Lanka will be able to share the analysis and ask the fundamental questions from political parties in ensuring accountability of our leadership to deliver on the promises that they make.
According to a recent poll, 58% of Sri Lankan respondents said that they are influenced in political choices by mass media. This highlights the immense responsibility of Sri Lankan media in empowering all Sri Lankans to make informed choices.
The SLRF feels that the lack of dialogue amongst the various communities in Sri Lanka contributed to the lack of understanding of the issues and the escalation of the ethnic conflict ultimately to an armed conflict.
While election promises can be enticing, talk is cheap, and even political parties with the best intentions can have difficulty making them happen. In Sri Lanka, we must recognise the lack of sound policy debate and costing framework on delivering on these promises. The lack of attention to these fundamental questions can really mean business as usual for the elected party in the next election. The question we need to ask ourselves- is it acceptable for us to have more of the same of the last 60 years of politics or should be enable the people of Sri Lanka to make more informed choices about who they elect?
It is hoped that others will follow the SLRF initiative and press political parties to demonstrate greater accountability in regard to the election promises made by them.
Please also view the following PDF links for INFOGRAPHICS
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