The U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations has urged the Government of Sri Lanka to hold a “free and fair” local authorities election without further delaying the matter.
In a tweet, the chairman of the committee Senator Bob Menendez denounced any effort to take away the voice of the people of Sri Lanka as “undeniably undemocratic” and “a direct violation of Sri Lankans’ rights”.
The U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations is a panel that oversees executive agreements with foreign countries and provides advice and consent on diplomatic nominations and treaties. The chairperson of the committee consults with foreign dignitaries and counsels presidents while playing a significant role in the conduct of U.S. diplomacy.
On February 24, the Election Commission of Sri Lanka announced that the 2023 Local Government polls would not be held on March 09 as scheduled, due to matters beyond its control. The new dates for the polls are expected to be announced this Friday (March 03).
The postponement of the local authorities election sparked multiple protests in parts of the island, largely in Colombo as it was met with the objection of the political parties in the opposition.
Citing the ongoing economic crisis, the government of President Ranil Wickremesinghe has insisted that the elections cannot be funded.