Centre for Policy Alternatives on 17 December, 2015

Democracy in Post-War Sri Lanka – December 2015

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18 December 2015, Colombo, Sri Lanka: According to the latest ‘Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka’ survey conducted by Social Indicator, the survey research unit of the Centre for Policy Alternatives, 80.6% of Sri Lankans are of the opinion that the Government should find solutions to address the root causes of the conflict. While 48.1% of Sri Lankans state that there should be a credible mechanism to look into accountability during the final stages of the war, 37.7% indicate that there should not be one.

Among those who stated that there should be a credible mechanism, 43.8% prefer an exclusively domestic mechanism, 17.1% prefer an exclusively international mechanism to probe into alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity that were committed by all parties to the ethnic conflict during the final stages of the war. A majority (61.7%) from the Sinhala community prefer an exclusively domestic mechanism. 47.6% from the Tamil community prefer an exclusively international one and 39.7% prefer a combination of both domestic and international.

On reconciliation, 47% of Sri Lankans believe that the Government is genuinely committed to promoting reconciliation in the country while 22.6% believe that the Government is not genuinely committed.

A majority of Sri Lankans (almost 55%) are satisfied with the current level of democracy in the country, while nearly 16% state that they are not.

On the composition of the new Cabinet of Ministers, State Ministers and Deputy Ministers, 31.7% of Sri Lankans state that they are satisfied while 36.7% of Sri Lankans express dissatisfaction with regard to the same.

While 31.3% of Sri Lankans believe that the general economic situation in the country has got better since the new Government was formed, 30.3% believe that it has got worse. When comparing data across the four main ethnic communities, the Sinhala community is the most skeptical with regard to the general economic situation in the country with 35.3% stating that it has got worse since the new Government was formed.

The respondents were asked to indicate their level of satisfaction in relation to the development initiatives taken thus far under President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. While 46.3% of Sri Lankans were satisfied, nearly 30% were not satisfied with the present pace of development in the country.

‘Democracy in post-war Sri Lanka’ sought to record public perspectives on democracy in Sri Lanka today and the findings are presented under five key sections – Economy and Development, Security and Freedom, Perceptions on politics, human rights and reconciliation, and the Government. The first wave was conducted in 2011, the second wave in 2013, the third in 2014 and the fourth in March 2015.

Conducted in the 25 districts of the country, this survey captured the opinion of 2103 Sri Lankans from the four main ethnic groups. The selection of respondents was random across the country except in a few areas in the Northern Province where access was difficult. Fieldwork was conducted from October 20th to November 15th 2015.

Download the report in full here.

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Social Indicator (SI) is the survey research unit of the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) and was established in September 1999, filling a longstanding vacuum for a permanent, professional and independent polling facility in Sri Lanka on social and political issues. Driven by the strong belief that polling is an instrument that empowers democracy, SI has been conducting polls on a large range of socio-economic and political issues since its inception.

Please contact Iromi Perera at [email protected] for further information.