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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2402

Sri Lankan newspaper advocates anti-democratic restrictions

[b]Sri Lankan newspaper advocates anti-democratic restrictions for future elections[/b]

By Saman Gunadasa – World Socialist Web Site

In the aftermath of the November 17 presidential election in Sri Lanka, an editorial appeared in the newspaper Lakbima last Sunday endorsing a proposal by the election commissioner to limit the number of contenders in the future. While its headline was “Let us stop ridiculing democracy,” the thrust of the comment was decidedly anti-democratic, reflecting concerns in ruling circles about the emergence of political challenges to the existing bourgeois parties.

The editorial referred approvingly to the remarks of election commissioner Dayananda Dishanayaka on the eve of the presidential poll. Addressing a meeting of candidates’ agents, Dishanayaka declared: “Some candidates in this presidential election have no understanding of certain things. What I would think is, in future presidential elections, the deposit of a candidate must be raised from present 50,000 rupees to five million rupees.”

Such a measure would place a crippling financial burden on smaller parties, particularly those based on the support of working people. Five million rupees is equivalent to $US50,000, or the combined annual income of between 50 to 100 workers in Sri Lanka.

http://www.asiantribune.com/show_article.php?id=2882

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