JVP Sees Local Polls As National Referendum

The ability to change leaders is a fundamental right and if the government delays Sri Lanka’s upcoming local government polls, the people must take to the streets, surround the president’s house and parliament if needed, and demand that the election be held, opposition Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) former legislator K. D. Lal Kantha said.

He said the local government election, scheduled to be held in March, has assumed the importance of a national referendum and must be treated as one.

Addressing a group of indigenous medical practitioners at an event, Lal Kantha said that if the people cannot change their leaders through an election, those leaders must be “beaten and kicked out.” (gahala pannanna oney).

“The people of Sri Lanka have changed and as a result the leaders are also compelled to change,” he said.

By delaying elections, he said, the leaders are giving the people a different message: “Kick us out.”

The former MP said the message would be that Sri Lankans must kick them out the way they did former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who was forced to resign after a wave of popular protests.