NPC: Enhance Democratic Norms in the post election period in the East

Statement by National Peace Council of Sri Lanka:

The violent clashes that have taken place in the Muslim-inhabited parts of the east have led to the killing of several persons and to a climate of rapidly escalating tension. These clashes have come shortly after the Eastern Provincial Council elections which the TMVP contested while remaining an armed group whose presence has become more openly obvious following the elections.

The present clashes have pitted members of the TMVP against the Muslim community and reflect the deep suspicions and frustration following promises made and broken in the aftermath of the elections. The use of arms by the TMVP is unacceptable. The National Peace Council believes that if left unchecked they are likely to lead to further clashes and to an increase in tensions between the Tamil and Muslim communities, and this trend should be reversed immediately.

Having elections in the east, although flawed, was an important step towards empowering the people in the province to democratically determine their future. The post election period provides yet another opportunity to the government and the newly established Eastern Provincial Council to demonstrate their commitment to the democratic process and to promoting good governance and ethnic harmony in the region. We are encouraged by the willingness of the leader of the TMVP and Chief Minister Pillayan, to meet with the leader of the Muslim component of the ruling alliance M L A M Hizbullah and opposition leader Rauff Hakeem. We urge them to make a joint appeal for peace and non violence and ensure that their members behave
accordingly.

The National Peace Council calls on the government to reconsider its stance of permitting the TMVP to operate as an armed group, while providing this party that has entered the democratic process with maximum protection.

In addition, the police and armed forces which are the legitimate security arms of the state need to be made fully independent in enforcing the law instead of being compelled to operate in a partisan manner.

As members of civil society who have been supporting the processes of democratic transformation of the east, we are deeply disturbed by the unravelling of the possibilities of peaceful coexistence in the east following the provincial council elections. We are perturbed at the proliferation of small arms, former militant groups in the democratic process being permitted to carry arms and distribution of arms to civilians to provide security for communities. These measures are likely to lead to extreme militarization that will ultimately lead to a total collapse of the rule of law from which will find it extremely difficult to extricate ourselves.

Executive Director
On behalf of the Governing Council

The National Peace Council of Sri Lanka

2 Comments »

  1. aratai said,

    May 29, 2008 @ 9:03 am

    The Peace Plan for East is working.

    At first, Tamils were attacked by Sinhalese Army and half the Tamils fled.

    Now, Muslims are attacked by Tamil para-military (commanded by Sinhalese Army), so Muslims will leave.

    In another 10 years later, once Sinhalese become majority in the East, there will be peace in the East.

  2. Nimal said,

    May 29, 2008 @ 12:45 pm

    “The National Peace Council calls on the government to reconsider its stance of permitting the TMVP to operate as an armed group”

    When will the National Peace Council call on the government to reconsider its stance on permitting the LTTE to operate as an armed group?

RSS feed for comments on this post

Leave a Comment