Sunday, December 14, 2014

Let Us Act Decisively In The Name Of Generations To Come: Declaration By Dons On 2015 Presidential Election

Colombo Telegraphs, 14/12/2014

The presidential election has been announced and each of us will be called upon to exercise our vote as citizens of this country on the 8th of January 2015.  It is our considered view that our country is at a historically important juncture at this moment and our decision at this election will have crucial implications for future generations. While we do not believe that all the changes we desire can be achieved overnight, or simply through a regime change, we believe strongly that this presidential election offers a window of opportunity to re-establish democracy, the rule of law and good governance and to address issues of social justice.
Mahinda MaithriWe note with extreme concern that in the past decade we have witnessed a breakdown of the rule of law and all norms of democracy and good governance and the concentration of both political and economic power in the hands of a few.
This has been particularly manifested in:
  • The unprecedented politicization of the judiciary and the manipulation of the judicial system which reached a crisis point with the unlawful impeachment of the former Chief Justice.
  • The political control over the police, lack of public accountability of the police force, and the alarming levels of human rights violations perpetrated by police personnel.
  • The intimidation of journalists and suppression of the free media
  • The breakdown of public institutions and services which are now mostly concentrated in the hands of the ruling elite. This breakdown has negatively impacted on our access to such institutions and services which is increasingly determined by the extent to which we can wield influence and power.  It has further resulted in public servants being subject to political manipulations, and being victimized for daring to demonstrate any form of independence.
  • The politicization of universities which are struggling to function in an environment of poor governance, infringement of academic autonomy and lack of basic funding.
  • The widening gap between the rich and poor –The poor whose only source of health facilities and education is the public sector are increasingly pushed to the margin and into the hands of the private sector.
  • Increasing intolerance of ethnic, religious and cultural diversity– ethnic and religious intolerance is being cultivated shamelessly in an effort to maintain the hegemony of the ruling elite. Mistrust among communities and groups and the deterioration in the protection and rights of minorities has spiraled.
  • Corruption, bribery and waste in connection with economic projects and the creation of a politicized business Mafia.
  • Violation of election laws – the complete violation with impunity of election laws has resulted in the impossibility of conducting free and fair elections.
We urge our fellow citizens to carefully consider not only the above but also the future of the country when exercising their civic duty. It is only the power of the people that can ensure the protection of democratic rights. The time has arrived for each of us to act decisively in the name of generations to come and cast our valuable vote for a candidate who has committed to:
  • Undertake major constitutional reform that prioritizes but is not limited to the
Abolishing of the Executive Presidency
Abolishing of the 18th amendment that opens the door to Presidency for life
Re-enactment of the 17th Amendment which ensured at least a modicum of independence of public institutions including the judiciary, the public service and the police.
  • Take concrete and meaningful measures to promote reconciliation and peace with justice and re-settle all displaced people in their places of origin.
  • Ensure that government allocates 6% GDP for Public Education and to put in place mechanisms to ensure the quality and standards of public education.
  • Substantially increase government spending on Public Health and to put in place mechanisms to ensure the quality and standards of public health.
  • Establish national policies on foreign relations, education, health and other important sectors and to ensure that these areas are served by professionals
  • Enact a Right to Information Act.
  • Protect media freedom.
  • Take measures to eliminate corruption, bribery, waste and the business Mafia.
  • Depoliticizethe public services and business sector.
  • Establish good governance devoid of nepotism and abuse of power.
We also make a strong appeal to the Election Commissioner to ensure a free and fair election and to intervene forcefully to prevent the violation of election laws and ensure the safety of all parties concerned. While we will exert pressure on those who are responsible to commit to these issues, we will continue to advocate for the implementation of these proposed constitutional and policy changes even after the presidential election.

Prof. S. B. S.AbayakoonUniversity of Peradeniya
Dr. UpulAbeyrathneUniversity of Ruhuna
Mr. H. V. D. I.AbeywickramaUniversity of Ruhuna
Dr. S. K. M.AliUniversity of Ruhuna
Dr. ChandanaAluthgeUniversity of Colombo
Dr. LiyanageAmarakeerthiUniversity of Peradeniya
Dr. HariniAmarasuriyaOpen University of Sri Lanka
Ven. UduhawaraAnandaUniversity of Colombo
Mr. P. T. K.ArachchigeUniversity of Ruhuna
Dr. A. K. S.AramabawaththaUniversity of Peradeniya
Prof. S.AAriaduraiOpen University of Sri Lanka
Dr. MojithAriyaratneUniversity of Peradeniya
Ven. T.AriyawimalaUniversity of Ruhuna
Prof. D.AtapattuUniversity of Ruhuna
Dr. S.BadugeUniversity of Ruhuna
Prof. H. M. N.BandaraUniversity of Peradeniya
Dr. S.BannehekeUniversity of Peradeniya
Ms KBulumulleOpen University of Sri Lanka
Dr. D.PChandimaUniversity of Moratuwa
Dr. A. J. M.ChandradasaUniversity of Ruhuna
Mr. D. C.ChandrasiriUniversity of Ruhuna
Prof. H. W.CyrilUniversity of Peradeniya
Prof. KumarDavidFormerly Hong Kong Polytechnic Univ.
Mr. W. K. R.DayalathaUniversity of Ruhuna
Mr. Ravide MelOpen University of Sri Lanka
Dr. MelUniversity of Peradeniya
Ms. D. M. R.DeepikaUniversity of Ruhuna
Prof GDelkumburewatteOpen University of Sri Lanka
Dr. R. M. K.DeshapriyaUniversity of Peradeniya
Dr. Nirmal RanjithDewasiriUniversity of Colombo
Prof. W. P. S.DiasUniversity of Moratuwa
Mr. D. D.DiasUniversity of Peradeniya
Ms. M. G. M.DilrukshiUniversity of Ruhuna
Ms. P. K. C.DineshaUniversity of Ruhuna
Prof. LakshmanDissanayakeUniveristy of Colombo
Dr. G.EdirisingheUniversity of Ruhuna
Dr. W. P. D.FernandoUniversity of Peradeniya
Prof RohanFernandoOpen University of Sri Lanka
Dr. MichaelFernandoFormerly University of Peradeniya
Dr TheodoreFernandoOpen University of Sri Lanka
Prof. Lalith S.FernandoUniversity of Sri Jayawardenapura
Mr. W. M. N.FernandoUniversity of Sri Jayawardenapura
Dr. AnilFernandoUniversity of Sri Jayawardenapura
Mr. Wijith HerathFernandoUniversity of Kelaniya
Prof. E. A. G.FonsekaUniversity of Ruhuna
Mr. KrishanthaFredricksUniversity of Colombo
Mr. KasunGajasingheUniversity of Peradeniya
Dr. RuwanGallageUniversity of Ruhuna
Mr. InduGamageUniversity of Ruhuna
Ms. LakminiGamageUniversity of Ruhuna
Dr V.V.GaneshananthanHarvard University
Prof. SavitriGoonesekereFormerly University of Colombo
Mr. K. G. P. V.GunarathnaUniversity of Ruhuna
Mr. R. R. P. K.GunarathnaUniversity of Ruhuna
Dr. S.GunarathneUniversity of Peradeniya
Mr ChandikaGunasingheUniversity of Ruhuna
Mr. RuvanGunawardaneUniversity of Ruhuna
Dr. R. D.GuneratneUniversity of Colombo
Prof. CamenaGuneratneOpen University of Sri Lanka
Prof. DileniGunewardenaUniversity of Peradeniya
Dr. RangikaHalwaturaUniversity of Moratuwa
Dr. FarzanaHaniffaUniversity of Colombo
Mr. E. H. M.HeenbandaUniversity of Ruhuna
Mr. G. P. T. S.HemakumaraUniversity of Ruhuna
Dr. K. R. B.HerathUniversity of Peradeniya
Dr ShyamaniHettiarachchiUniversity of Kelaniya
Dr S.RHettiarachchiOpen University of Sri Lanka
Dr. N. K.HettiarachchiUniversity of Ruhuna
Dr. J.HewageUniversity of Ruhuna
Prof. P.HewageUniversity of Ruhuna
Dr. RajanHooleUniversity of Jaffna
Dr. KirupaHooleUniversity of Jaffna
Mr J.H.S.K.JayamahaOpen University of Sri Lanka
Ms. R.JayaneththiUniversity of Peradeniya
Mr. G. G.JayarathneUniversity of Moratuwa
Dr. T.JayasinghamEastern University of Sri Lanka
Dr. R. D.JayasingheUniversity of Peradeniya
Dr. PrabhathJayasingheUniversity of Colombo
Dr. R.JayasingheUniversity of Peradeniya
Dr. VajiraJayasingheUniversity of Peradeniya
Dr. B. C.JayawardanaUniversity of Peradeniya
Prof. U. de. S.JayawardenaUniversity of Peradeniya
Dr. JanakiJayawardenaUniveristy of Colombo
Dr. AnandaJayawickramaUniversity of Peradeniya
Ms. H. A. C.JeewanthiUniversity of Ruhuna
Dr. SilanKadirgamarUniversity of Jaffna
Mr. S.KahandagamageUniversity of Ruhuna
Dr. PavithraKailasapathyUniversity of Colombo
Dr. D.KarunanayakeUniversity of Peradeniya
Mr. M. S. M.KarunarathneUniversity of Ruhuna
Dr. A. H. G. K.KarunaraththnaUniversity of Sri Jayawardenapura
Mr. A. C.KarunaratnaUniversity of Ruhuna
Dr. D. G. G. P.KarunaratneUniversity of Peradeniya
Mr. NandasiriKeembiyahettiUniversity of Ruhuna
Prof G.KeerawellaUniversity of Peradeniya
Dr. S.I.KeethaponcalanUniversity of Salisbury
Dr. S. P.KodituwakkuUniversity of Peradeniya
Dr. ShamalaKumarUniversity of Peradeniya
Prof. VijayKumarFormerly University of Peradeniya
Prof. N. S.KumarFormerly University of Peradeniya
Dr. Kumudu KusumKumaraUniversity of Colombo
Mr. W. A. M.KumaraUniversity of Ruhuna
Dr. P. A. P.S.KumaraUniversity of Ruhuna
Prof. Amal S.KumarageUniversity of Moratuwa
Dr. PivithuruKumarasingheUniversity of Sri Jayawardenapura
Mr. W. M. R.LaksiriUniversity of Ruhuna
Mrs. R.LiyanageUniversity of Peradeniya
Prof. R. P.MahaliayanaarachchiSabaragamuwa University
Mr. R.MaheswaranUniversity of Peradeniya
Ven.Dr. U.MahindaUniversity of Ruhuna
Dr. D. H. S.MaithripalaUniversity of Peradeniya
Ven. MakolaMangalaUniversity of Ruhuna
Dr. A.ManipuraUniversity of Peradeniya
Mr. S.MantillakeUniversity of Peradeniya
Ms. PrabhaManuratneUniversity of Kelaniya
Dr. A. L. M.MauroofUniversity of Peradeniya
Dr. Vivimarie V.MedwattegederaOpen University of Sri Lanka
Dr. MadhavaMeegaskumburaUniversity of Peradeniya
Dr. R.MeegaskumburaUniversity of Peradeniya
Prof. NayaniMelagodaUniveristy of Colombo
Dr. MahimMendisOpen University of Sri Lanka
Dr. IreshaMendisUniversity of Peradeniya
Dr N.MoraisOpen University of Sri Lanka
Mr. M. S.NanayakkaraUniversity of Ruhuna
Dr. B. G. T. L.NandasenaUniversity of Peradeniya
Prof. A. M.Navaratna BandaraUniversity of Peradeniya
Dr VasukiNesiahNew York University
Mr. S. N.NilesUniversity of Moratuwa
Prof. MahesanNiranjanUniversity of Southampton
Mr. K. S. G. S.NishanthaUniversity of Ruhuna
Prof. M. A.NuhmanUniversity of Peradeniya
Prof. GananathObeyesekereFormerly Princeton University
Prof. RanjiniObeyesekereFormerly Princeton University
Dr. R.PalamakumburaUniversity of Peradeniya
Mr. W. A.PalithaUniversity of Ruhuna
Dr. R. W.PallegamaUniversity of Peradeniya
Dr. GihanPanagodaUniversity of Peradeniya
Mr. UpaliPannilageUniversity of Ruhuna
Prof. A.ParakramaUniversity of Peradeniya
Dr. M. P.ParanagamaUniversity of Peradeniya
Dr. DharmasenaPathirajaFormerly Univeristy of Colombo
Prof. S. D.PathiranaUniversity of Peradeniya
Mr. L. K. K.PeirisUniversity of Ruhuna
Dr. H. R. D.PeirisUniversity of Peradeniya
Dr. P.PereraUniversity of Peradeniya
Mr. K. E. D.PereraUniversity of Ruhuna
Dr M.E.RPereraOpen University of Sri Lanka
Prof. KapilaPereraUniversity of Moratuwa
Dr. HimanPunchihewaUniversity of Moratuwa
Dr. D. D. J.PunchihewaUniversity of Sri Jayawardenapura
Mr. A.RajapakshaUniversity of Peradeniya
Mr. W. P. S.RajapakshaUniversity of Ruhuna
Prof. R. M. G.RajapaksheUniversity of Peradeniya
Prof. DharmaRajapaksheUniversity of Ruhuna
Mr. K. H.RamanayakeUniversity of Ruhuna
Dr. H.RambukwellaOpen University of Sri Lanka
Mr. R. A. S. P.RanabahuUniversity of Ruhuna
Dr. D.RandeniyaUniversity of Peradeniya
Mr. S.RasnayakeUniversity of Peradeniya
Mr. R. M. D. D.RathnayakeUniversity of Ruhuna
Mr SithuminiRatnamalalaUniversity of Moratuwa
Dr. A. C.RatnaweeraUniversity of Peradeniya
Dr. PrasannaRatnaweeraOpen University of Sri Lanka
Mr. RohanaRatnayakeOpen University of Sri Lanka
Dr. AnuraRatnayakeUniversity of Ruhuna
Mr. L. K. G.RoshanaUniversity of Ruhuna
Dr. A. J.RuhunuhewaUniversity of Ruhuna
Dr. T. S.SamarakoonUniversity of Peradeniya
Attoney-at-Law D.SamararatneUniversity of Colombo
Prof. GameelaSamarasingheUniversity of Colombo
Ms. TanujaSandanayakeUniversity of Moratuwa
Mr. A. P.SanthasiriUniversity of Ruhuna
Dr. I. M. S.SathyaprasadUniversity of Peradeniya
Dr. NihalSenanayakeOpen University of Sri Lanka
Mr. G.SenarathUniversity of Ruhuna
Dr. Hiniduma SunilSeneviSabaragamuwa University
Prof. K. G. S. C.SeneviratneUniversity of Peradeniya
Prof. Rev. AgalakadaSirisumanaUniveristy of Colombo
Dr. S.SivamohanUniversity of Peradeniya
Dr. DayaSomasundaramUniversity of Jaffna
Dr. H. P.SooriyaarachchiUniversity of Ruhuna
Dr. H. N. S.SoysaUniversity of Peradeniya
Dr. B. M.SumanaratneUniversity of Ruhuna
Mr. ChandragupthaThenuwaraUniversity of Visual and Performing Arts
Dr. SharikaThiranagamaUniversity of Stanford
Mr. DayapalaThiranagamaFormerly University of Kelaniya
Prof. AsangaTilakaratneUniversity of Colombo
Dr. N.  D.UdagamaUniversity of Peradeniya
Dr. D.UdakaraUniversity of Peradeniya
Dr. AnuraUthunmangeUniversity of Sri Jayawardenapura
Prof. JayadevaUyangodaUniveristy of Colombo
Dr. ViduraVithanaUniversity of Ruhuna
Prof. ManjulaVithanapathiranaUniversity of Colombo
Dr. L. D. SarathVitharanaUniversity of Kelaniya
Ven. N.WajiraghanaUniversity of Ruhuna
Prof. K. S.WalgamaUniversity of Peradeniya
Dr. S. K.WanniarachchiUniversity of Ruhuna
Prof. S.WawwageUniversity of Ruhuna
Dr H.L.DWeerahewaOpen University of Sri Lanka
Prof. RuwanWeerasekeraUniversity of Moratuwa
Dr. A. R.WeerasingheUniversity of Colombo
Prof. P.WickramagamageUniversity of Peradeniya
Prof. C. S.WickramagamageUniversity of Peradeniya
Prof. MaithriWickramasingheUniversity of Kelaniya
Dr. J. V.WijayakulasooriyaUniversity of Peradeniya
Ms. GayatriWijekoonUniversity of Peradeniya
Mr. S.WijeratneUniversity of Ruhuna
Mr. WimalWijesingheUniversity of Ruhuna
Mr. W. A. N. D.WijesingheUniversity of Ruhuna
Mr. T. R.WijesundaraUniversity of Ruhuna
Dr. TilakWijesundaraUniversity of Ruhuna
Prof. R. L.WijeyeweeraUniversity of Peradeniya
Mr. N. A.WimalasenaUniversity of Peradeniya
Mr. P. H.WimalasiriUniversity of Ruhuna
Mr B.D.WitharanaOpen University of Sri Lanka

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