The situation in Sri Lanka threatens to escalate with the removal of Acting Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe last Friday by Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and the appointment of former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, who ruled Sri Lanka with a tough hand from 2005 to 2015. Sirisena justified his action with the fact that a cabinet member had been involved in an alleged murder plot against him. Parliament was also suspended by Sirisena for two weeks.
In a Youtube video, Rev. Asiri Perera, head of the Methodist church in Sri Lanka, which is a member of the UEM, appeals to the politicians of his country to abide by the democratic rules of the game in order to avoid a threatening bloody conflict.
The National Council of Christians in Sri Lanka (NCCSL) also takes this political development seriously and considers the President's action with regard to the recognised norms of democratic principles and the provisions of the national constitution questionable. The Council, on the other hand, is in favour of resolving the matter in Parliament and in a transparent manner, in accordance with established and clear procedures. The paper, signed by leading clergymen, continues to say:
"The events of secrecy and surprise that we regret have raised many questions in the minds of our people and have created fear and insecurity when we see two competing prime ministers fighting together with their respective parties for power, authority and legitimacy for state rule. In this process we note with regret the subjugation of democratic state institutions by coercion and intimidation for the purpose of political control, but we also admire the patience of the public waiting for a solution to the current crisis within the framework of constitutional and legal norms.
We are a wounded nation recovering from war and violence and in the midst of a heavy economic burden on the people - we cannot afford another crisis at any price that would plunge the country into another chaos.
Therefore, the National Council of Christians in Sri Lanka (NCCSL), as a religious entity and without belonging to any political party or person, appeals to the President to uphold the democratic traditions and inviolability of our Constitution, taking into account the mandate he received from the people when he took office. Furthermore, the Council calls upon political decision-makers in all fields to act with caution in order to preserve the sovereignty and integrity of the nation."
UEM online editorial office