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Sri Lanka hits back at The Elders for ‘unacceptable’ statement

Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom has hit back at The Elders this week, after the group referenced Sri Lanka when they spoke on US President Donald Trump’s refusal to “adhere to the protocols and processes governing the transition of power”.

Mary Robinson, Chair of The Elders and former President of Ireland, said, “it is shocking to have to raise concerns about US democratic processes as The Elders have previously commented on volatile and undemocratic situations in states such as Kenya, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe”.

“Mrs Robinson’s reference to Sri Lanka is inaccurate and unacceptable,” decried Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner Saroja Sirisena. 

The Elders, an organisation made of independent global leaders,  and founded by Nelson Mandela in 2007, has frequently commented in Sri Lanka in the past. 

Last month, Freedom House highlighted the plight of democracy around the world during the coronavirus pandemic, stating that “Sri Lanka’s experience illustrates the global trends”. 

“The government of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa accelerated its authoritarian agenda over the past six months, stepping up efforts to control independent reporting and unfavorable speech by ordering the arrest of anyone who criticizes or contradicts the official line on the coronavirus,” it added.

See the full text of the report ‘Democracy under Lockdown’ here.


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