Urgent Need to Address the Institutional Collapse and Deterioration of Democratic Space
It is with regret that we note the fast deterioration of processes of governance and vital public service institutions in the country. Waste of public finance due to the extravagance and greed of politicians, abductions of civilians for ransom, the functioning of independent institutions being dictated by powerful political figures, impunity of powerful elements, politicization of the public sector and many other serious lapses bear witness to the gravity of the failure of governance in the country.
Transparency International Sri Lanka re affirms that there is a urgent need to evaluate the working of the systems of governance, particularly the institutional collapse in the recent past due to the non implementation of the 17th Amendment. The systemic penalizations of independent voices has distanced the informed public from the political leadership and has hindered the ability to understand and resolve to remedy most of these issues.
TISL affirms the need for Sri Lanka to be mindful of basic norms of justice informing the world order as enshrined in international human rights treaties that we – as well as the majority of countries are signatory to. No country can afford to be isolated from the acceptance and acknowledgement of such international law standards. Sovereignty of the people includes fundamental rights and protection of good governance, without which a civilized society cannot be protected against repression. TISL warns the public that few short sighted but powerful key individuals in high positions are acting in collusion to undermine democratic values for their own survival.
TISL urges the President, Government, Opposition, political authorities, political parties, and the opinion makers to reconsider their respective positions on governance and democratic values, in order to extricate the country from the present deplorable situation before it is too late. It is vital that the voice of the people and the right to dissent be protected and respected to prevent the emergence of greater authoritarianism and corruption in Sri Lanka. Democracy will be protected only if the people stand for democratic values and against repression, while asserting their right to lawfully question the authority of arbitrary actions of all institutions including the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary, all of which belong to the people themselves.
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