UK says polls alone won’t bring reconciliation in Sri Lanka

Wednesday, 25 September 2013 00:43 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

London: The British government Monday while welcoming the ‘largely peaceful’ provincial elections in Sri Lanka held on September 21, expressed concern over the election violence and asked the Government to investigate the serious allegations. Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister Alistair Burt in a statement said the polls have been described as largely peaceful by Commonwealth and domestic observer missions, with high turnout across all three provinces. “This demonstrates the desire of the Sri Lankan people to engage in this democratic process which ensures all provinces now have a council for the first time since the end of the military conflict,” he noted. Burt called on both the Sri Lankan government and the parties who won provincial seats to work together to contribute meaningfully to effective and inclusive regional governance in the island. “The lasting reconciliation all Sri Lankans deserve cannot be delivered by these polls alone, but the elections remain an important step in recognising the rights and aspirations of all citizens,” he said. The Foreign Office Minister welcomed the access given to international observers and the overall conduct of polling day. Burt however expressing concern over the ‘credible reports’ of the misuse of state resources for campaigning, incidents of intimidation, and violence in the run-up to elections, called on the authorities to investigate these serious allegations and ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice.