The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has called on the Sri Lankan government to postpone parliamentary elections that were scheduled for next month, due to the threat posed by the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus on the island.
“The safety of the public is our paramount concern,” said the TNA in a statement this morning.
"For this reason, and for the reason that all democratic aspects cannot be properly be adhered to in this abnormal situation, we request the postponement of the General Elections due to be held on 25th of April 2020,” it added.
The call comes after Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa told South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) leaders on Sunday that “the elections will be held as planned”.
Rajapaksa pushed for the early dissolution of the parliament which conveniently falls the first anniversary of the Easter Sunday bombings and is insistent in ensuring the elections are not postponed.
Current Sri Lankan prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa will lead a newly formed coalition between the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), which is expected to sweep the polls. A two-thirds majority in parliament will allow the Rajapaksa's to implement constitutional changes to increase presidential powers and influence.